Michele Acquarone and Mauro Vegni, the Giro's directors, present Michele Scarponi with the 2011 title
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Former Giro d’Italia director blamed for not preventing alleged misappropriation
The president of RCS Media Group Angelo Provasoli has hit back after claims by Michele Acquarone that he has been made a scapegoat following the alleged misappropriation of funds from the accounts of the Giro d’Italia organisers.
The Milan-based company sacked Acquarone on Tuesday and he vented his anger and promised legal action to defend his name in a press conference in Milan on Thursday.
"I'm here because I need to get rid of the mud that has been thrown at me. I've not been able to speak because I was an employee of RCS. Today I need to say what I feel, to shout that I'm totally extraneous to what has happened," Acquarone said.
Acquarone and his lawyer insisted he was sacked because RCS Sport believe “he should have and could have” prevented what happened. He has always denied any involvement in the apparent disappearance of 10 million Euros from company accounts.
“All the reasons were there so that it happened,” Provasoli told Italian news agency AdnKronos when asked about Acquarone’s firing, after leaving the meeting of the board of Telecom, the Italian telecommunications company.
On Friday Italian news agency La Presse corrected a report, confirming that Matteo Pastore –the head of Rights and External Relations at RCS Sport, has been suspended but has not been fired as part of the internal investigation into the alleged missing funds.
RCS Sport CEO Giacomo Catano was also fired by RCS Sport, while the director of administration Laura Bertinotti, who is at the heart of the investigation, has also left the company.
Former 400m runner Paolo Bellino is reported set to be the new CEO of RCS Sport, with technical director Mauro Vegni filling to the role of director of the Giro d'Italia and RCS Sports other cycling events, including the new Dubai Tour that will be presented on Tuesday.