In a statement, Paolo Bettini has confirmed yesterday's news that he is under investigation for alleged tax evasion by Italian fiscal authorities. "I can confirm that I have been, for about one year, the object of a fiscal investigation," he stated, nevertheless denying the amount he reportedly evaded from Italian income tax.
"The figure, however, [11 million Euro - ed.] I learned of in the media."
The double World champion and Olympic gold medallist remained positive about the case. "In my life, I have always confronted everything remaining very serene and keeping my head high. I am fully available to meeting the magistrates to explain my point of view and clarify the whole case," he added.
Bettini is suspected to have falsely claimed his primary residence to be in Monaco. During the last year of investigation, Italian financial police have gathered "undeniable" evidence that the centre of the former cyclists' life is in fact Italy, where he owns several properties and company shares.
Bettini is not the only high-profile sportsman to have tried to evade Italian income tax. Davide Rebellin, Formula One driver Vitantonio Liuzzi and former Rallye driver Tiziano Siviero are also currently under investigation.