Five months after he was dropped by RCS Sport from his previous role as head of the Giro d’Italia, Michele Acquarone has said that he is still waiting for the chance to clear his name in relation to an investigation into the company’s finances. However he confirms that he will continue to work in the area of cycling, with more details to be confirmed in July.
“I am still waiting for the investigation to come,” he told Cycling Tips. “There is nothing new lately, unfortunately. RCS doesn’t speak, the police don’t speak. I am sorry but I think I am the only one who is interested in this bad story [about his sacking – ed.]. Nobody else cares anymore, unfortunately.”
In early October the Italian was sidelined from his position as head of the Giro d’Italia and the COO of RCS Sport, as was former RCS CEO Giacomo Catano.
He and Catano were given the suspensions after RCS Sport said that a possible misappropriation of thirteen million euro had been was detected.
It set up an audit at the time and said that it would do what it could to determine what had happened and who was responsible. Outside experts were called in to coordinate the enquiry.
The administrative director Laura Bertinotti quit her role and another RCS employee, media relations director Matteo Pastore, was also suspended.
The turmoil also saw the chairman Flavio Biondi replaced by Raimondo Zanaboni, who headlined the presentation of the Giro d’Italia route on October 7th. Mauro Vegni has since taken over in Acquarone’s former slot.
In October Acquarone insisted that he was innocent and said that he had nothing to hide. “Those who know me, are well aware that my professional style is based on three key concepts: fairness, respect and dialogue,” he wrote in a statement.
He said that he expected to be back in his role but in December the company announced that he was being fired. He reacted by launching an unfair dismissal case, one which he said he believes he will win.
Months later, there is little sign of progress with the RCS Sport investigation. “I am waiting. I am here at home. I will answer everybody who has questions,” he said. “If it is the police, if it is journalists, if it is just a fan, I will answer everybody. I have nothing to hide.
“If you act well, you just have to take it easy and be patient. And that’s what I am doing.”
The circumstances of his leaving RCS Sport made it difficult for Acquarone to find a new employment but he confirmed to Cycling Tips that he is now involved in a different venture. While he cannot yet reveal details, this will ensure he remains within the sport.
“I am starting to work on a new project and everything will be official in July,” he said. “I will stay in cycling. I think that is correct – that is what I want and that is why I am so happy that I can work on this project.”