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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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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7 comments

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ianrobo | 1208 posts | 8 years ago
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IF we want proof of doping still happening look at the top riders today at LBL.

The winner a known doper is better than when doping and is old. When are the younger riders competing ? Nowhere to be seen at all and I think they are clean.

This spring season has left all the old questions there and the UCI and importantly the press have to investigate this.

Where is David Walsh on this ?

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doc_davo | 47 posts | 8 years ago
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SNS1938 wrote:

Didn't Armstrong used to jump straight to the lawyers too, and he'd passed 499/500 tests.

so a sign of being innocent is not threatening to sue for defamation... thats some logic!

And AJ101 Lanzerote? I thought he had been in Tenerife - up Teide? but then again, but how in the hell does everyone who goes to train in Tenerife/Lanzerote/Spain etc etc get labelled with being lit?

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SNS1938 replied to doc_davo | 154 posts | 8 years ago
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Following Henderson's tweet, Aru's (over)reaction, Astana's recent history, the CIRC report saying doping still happens ... I don't see this being the end of this for Aru. Personally, I think he'd be better to accept the apology and try to move on as quickly as possible. His move to sue is not going to help this go away in a hurry.

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Must be Mad | 666 posts | 8 years ago
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Quote:

Omerta, it still exists.

Maybe. we shall see. *IF* there are 'bio passport issues' then there is already someone on the case looking at it. We should also remember 'innocent until proven guilty'. The Tiernan Lock case was wrong to have been leeked so early - so we will need to sit back and see if anything happens in the next 6 months or so.

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SNS1938 | 154 posts | 8 years ago
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Didn't Armstrong used to jump straight to the lawyers too, and he'd passed 499/500 tests.

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AJ101 | 278 posts | 8 years ago
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Great news that with the UCI validating Astana we can all get behind Aru as he drops the field remorselessly.

Nice to see he's been having a nice trip to Lanzarote too. There's something in the air about that place. When a rider gets back from a preparation camp there they really do fly. Magic!

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Alb | 166 posts | 8 years ago
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"Image and honour"?! He rides for Astana FFS!  35

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