Valentino Rossi belongs in the list of the top motorcycle riders in history. In fact, if he’s not on top of that list, he’s close to it. But there’s another list out there that was recently released that Rossi definitely doesn’t want to be a part of. According to French newspaper Le Monde, Rossi’s name appears on the “Falciani List”, a list of suspected tax evaders of British bank HSBC.

Rossi’s lawyer, Claudio Sanchironi, admitted that Rossi was embroiled in a number of issues in the past, most notably the one involving his residence in London. But Sanchironi stressed that Rossi had already settled these this issue back in 2008 with all charges being dropped against the Italian legend. The rider’s father, Graziano Rossi, confirmed Sanchironi’s comments, telling Italian paper Insella that his son paid a fine worth €30 million to wipe away his bad credit.

If what Sanchironi and Graziano are saying are true, then Rossi shouldn’t be worried about his inclusion into the “Falciani List”. Then again, it still doesn’t paint a pretty picture of a man who has an impeccable reputation like Rossi. Hopefully, this gets sorted out before it becomes a bigger distraction for the Italian rider as he prepares for the upcoming MotoGP season.

That’s probably the last thing he wants to answer at this point in time.

Click past the jump to read more about Valentino Rossi’s supposed tax woes.

Why it matters

A tax evasion list is not something you don’t want to be a part of. It doesn’t matter what you do or how successful you are, you don’t want to be in the crosshairs of the IRS, or whatever name other tax agencies in other countries call themselves.

Steering clear of that list is more important if you’re a man like Valentino Rossi, who makes a lot of money based on his squeaky clean image. You don’t want to taint that and cost yourself millions in endorsement money.

It’s still unclear whether the Falciani List goes all the way back to personal or business dealings back from 2008. If it does, then the admission of Rossi’s team about his issues in London could’ve played a part in his inclusion in the list. But if it doesn’t, then the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which coordinated the inquiry that has come to be known as "SwissLeaks", might have uncovered something that has yet to be revealed to the public.

I’m not here to cast any aspersions on anyone, but the reason behind Rossi’s inclusion in that list has yet to be divulged so like everybody else, I’m curious to see what it is.

Source: Insella

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