RCS Sport, the organiser of the Giro d'Italia, Milan-San Remo and next weekend's Il Lombardia, have confirmed they have appointed an external auditor to control its accounts after internal checks discovered possible misappropriation of several million Euros.
The Italian company has appointed Riccardo Taranto as the new CEO and he is leading the internal investigation. Previous CEO Giacomo Catano has moved to another role within parent company RCS Media Group that owns sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, leading newspaper Corriere della Sera and several other important media brands in Italy.
According to reports in Italian media, between 10-13 million Euros could have disappeared from affiliate companies controlled by RCS Sport.
It seems the cycling sector of RCS Sport is not directly involved, but income generated by the Giro d'Italia could have disappeared. RCS Group works in several sports, including basketball, running, golf and tennis but cycling remains its most lucrative sector.
The head of accounts and administration at RCS Sport has apparently resigned. Michele Acquarone remains as the Chief Operating Officer along with all the RCS Sport operational management and staff.
RCS Sport refused to comment further than an initial statement issued by RCS Media Group. The suspected fraud was discussed at length by the board of RCS Media Group on Monday. Further developments are expected soon.
The journalists of the Corriere della Sera called for RCS Media Group to "start every possible action to recover the amounts that have been taken, working with the Finance police and magistrates."
RCS Media Group is in dire financial difficulty after losing millions due the financial and media crisis. Key shareholders agreed to refinance the company this summer but RCS Sport plans sell its historic office in the centre of Milan and cut costs as part of a digitally driven restructuring programme.