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by Shane Stokes
May 19, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
Almost a month after the Kiwi rider Greg Henderson suggested that Fabio Aru had biological passport issues and that his absence from racing due to reported illness in April was instead due to this matter, the rider has launched a legal case against him.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported Monday that the rider’s agent Alex Carera and his lawyer Giuseppe Napoleone had announced that they had filed a defamation case in court against Henderson.
Henderson wrote his tweet on April 23, but later backtracked. “When you’re sick, you’re sick. Jump on these conclusions does not help anyone. My mistake. I had to shut my mouth. A sincere apology,” he wrote on the morning of April 24.
However this was not enough for Aru and his representatives and they have launched their case.
According to the statement issued by Carera and Napoleone, they are seeking to protect the good name and integrity of the rider plus his team.
They indicated that in addition to the criminal complaint, they will also seek financial damages.
Both Henderson and Aru are currently competing in the Giro d’Italia. Aru is second overall, three seconds behind the race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo).
Henderson played an important part in Lotto-Soudal team-mate Andre Greipel’s victory on stage six, unleasing a very long leadout that paved the way for the German’s triumph.
Aru’s Astana team was under the microscope in recent months after the Iglinskiy brothers Maxim and Valentin plus three riders linked to the Astana Continental team all tested positive.
The UCI initially indicated it wanted its Licence Commission to scrap the licence, but then on May 5 it announced that the commission had decided the team should hold onto its WorldTour place.
This is subject to consideration of any future cases. If the team had another positive test, for example, then it could potentially lose its licence then.