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Fabio Aru threatens Greg Henderson with legal action over doping smear tweet

Lotto-Soudal rider questioned whether Astana rider's illness was cover for bio passport issues...

Astana rider Fabio Aru, who finished third in last year’s Giro d’Italia, says he will sue Greg Henderson after the New Zealander appeared to publicly accuse him of feigning illness to cover up issues with his biological passport.

Aru, aged 24 and among the leading contenders for the Italian Grand Tour next month, failed to start the Giro del Trentino earlier this week due to a stomach virus.

His team’s sports director Paolo Slongo saying the Sardinian rider had been extremely ill last weekend after returning home from a training camp on Tenerife.

On Thursday evening, Lotto-Soudal rider Henderson tweeted: “Sad to see @fabaro1 ‘sick’. Mate make sure next time u come back to our sport ‘healthy’. Aka. Clean! #biopassport! Or don’t come back!”

Shortly afterwards, he added: “I am so sick of it. It becomes common knowledge within days. Why try cheat.”

Henderson’s tweets were posted the same evening that the UCI confirmed that its Licence Commission had rejected its request to revoke the WorldTour licence of Aru’s Astana team.

The tweets have now been deleted, and yesterday morning Henderson issued an apology to Aru on the social network, saying: “When you are sick. You are sick. Jumping to conclusions helps nobody. My mistake @FabioAru1. I should shut my mouth. Sincere apologies.”

But in a statement published on his website yesterday, Aru said: “With regard to the statements published on 23 April 2015 on Greg Henderson’s Twitter profile, Fabio Aru has instructed the lawyer Mr Napoleone in order to take legal action against the New Zealander cyclist to protect his image and honour.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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