Lotto-Soudal rider Greg Henderson apologised on Twitter after claiming Fabio Aru's current illness is a cover for biological passport issues

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Astana rider Fabio Aru will take legal action against Lotto-Soudal’s Greg Henderson over tweets the New Zealander sent on Thursday night.

Henderson later apologised having accusing Grand Tour hopeful Aru of using illness to cover up a biological passport issue.

The New Zealander tweeted his remarks on Thursday evening, saying Aru, who finished third in the 2014 Giro d’Italia at just 23-years-old, should come back clean or not come back at all.

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But Henderson issued an apology on Friday morning, saying that jumping to conclusions is not helpful but, interestingly, the Kiwi did not delete his previous tweets.

But Aru has taken the matter further, with a statement released by his agent, Alex Carera, confirming the Italian is to take legal action.

The statement read: “With regard to the quotes of Greg Henderson posted on his Twitter profile on April 25th 2015, Fabio Aru empowered his attorney Avv. Napoleone to take legal action against the New Zealander pro cyclist in order to defend his image and his respectability.”

Aru has been forced to miss the Giro del Trentino and, likely, the Tour of Romandie with an intestinal ailment, but the Italian hopes to still be able to start the Giro on May 9.

The youngster is tipped to be Italy’s next Grand Tour hopeful and showed his talents at the Vuelta a España, where he finished in fifth.

Aru’s team, Astana, was given a boost on Thursday when the UCI Licence Commission confirmed the Kazakh squad would retain their WorldTour licence, despite several doping scandals in 2014.

The UCI said Astana would continue to be ‘strictly monitored’ for the rest of the season.