New nickname for Lion King Mario Cipollini: the Legal King.
Doesn’t have much flash to it but he’s happy anyway after winning his appeal in Florence. The court in his home town of Lucca had slapped him with the tax evasion charge and a sentence of 22 months in prison.
Super Mario however got out of that charge in his characteristic style: fast. He reversed the wheels of justice and convinced the judge he’d been paying resident taxes in Monaco all that time. He also promised the court a yellow and black Team ISD-Neri Cipollini frame and gave the judge the name of a good tailor in Florence.
“I never defrauded the state,” said Cipollini. The man may live fast and spend fast but always leaves a decent tip and never rips off the home country. He was also acquitted of all parking tickets, not paying his bill at a local hair salon, shoplifting several bronzing creams, dinning at ditching at a pizza restaurant outside Naples and — in what will surely be a landmark legal decision in Italy — he was absolved of having an “over-sized ego even for a flamboyant Italian.
Cipollini is appealing that last acquittal as he firmly believes is ego is the appropriate size.