Petacchi faces tax evasion charges
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Petacchi faces tax evasion charges

by VeloNation Press at 10:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Italian Alessandro Petacchi has more than recovering from a crash earlier this week on his mind, with the il Giornale reporting that he is at the center of an investigation for tax evasion by the Guardia di Finanza in Milan.

The Lampre- Farnese Vini sprinter reportedly received 2.8 million euros from commercial contracts and image rights, earnings they say were never reported to the Italian tax authorities. Several other high profile Italians are involved in the investigations, with money in excess of 100 million euros believed to be spread out in hidden bank accounts throughout Austria, Britain, Holland, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Petacchi, 36, will now have to think about the possibility of a large fine and criminal case as he prepares for his big target of the Spring, Milan-Sanremo. The surprised sprinter told Gazzetta dello Sport, "I know nothing of this. I'm still not completely informed. I need to talk to my lawyer to find out what is going on."

The Tuscan has enjoyed an excellent start to the season after moving to the Lampre team, including two stage wins in the Girodella Provincia Calabria, his fifth victory in the GP Costa Etrusca and a stage of the Giro di Sardegna. Earlier this week he crashed after hitting a stray flower pot on a training ride, which required a trip to the hospital for stitches and treatment for bruises and scrapes.

He complained that he was having problems pedaling after the crash, but decided to start this week's Tirreno-Adriatico to keep himself in with a chance of winning Milan-Sanremo for a second time later this month.

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