Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) has reportedly paid two million Euros to resolve a tax evasion investigation in Belgium, according to reports in Het Laatste Nieuws and other Belgian media.
News came to light last month that Boonen had been the focus of special tax investigators, who suspected that the Belgian rider had overstepped the mark in terms of his "tax optimisation". He allegedly did not declare enough of his income to Belgian authorities, while being a resident in Monaco. Boonen resided in the Mediterranean tax haven from September 2005 until early last year when he returned to live in Belgium.
Despite Boonen's payment and insistence on his innocence, the case remains open according to hln.be with other riders also said to have fallen foul of regulations, including former teammate Stijn Devolder.
It has not been a good year for Boonen who crashed out of the Tour of Flanders after hitting a road sign. His off-season was punctuated by intestinal problems and then a severely infected elbow. He has recently confirmed that he will not ride this year's Tour de France.
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