Greg Henderson admits there's nothing he can now do about Fabio Aru's defamation lawsuit, he just has to wait and see what happens

New Zealander Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal) has no answer for Italian Fabio Aru’s legal action over biological passport comments on Twitter.

Aru’s lawyer yesterday said that the cyclist, currently second in the Giro d’Italia, has filed a lawsuit over Henderson’s allegedly defamatory tweets, seemingly not accepting the Kiwi’s apology the following day.

“When you are sick. You are sick. Jumping to conclusions helps nobody. My mistake @FabioAru1. I should shut my mouth. Sincere apologies.” Henderson wrote on Twitter.

The pair are racing alongside each other at the Giro d’Italia and insisted there’s nothing he can do about the situation and is now concentrating on his race.

“I offered my apology [on Twitter] and he didn’t accept it, so that was basically the end of the story,” Henderson said.

“Now, I just wait, concentrate on the end of the race that I’m doing. That’s all I can do.”

>>> Fabio Aru: could he be Italy’s next big thing?

Aru only took in the Paris-Nice and Vuelta a Cataluyna stage races before the Giro, placing 39th and sixth. He currently sits three seconds behind race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Henderson rides as André Greipel’s lead-out man for the sprints. He explained that he and Aru rode side by side in the Giro, but not a word was spoken.

“We’ve ridden beside each other many times and he hasn’t said anything,” he said. “I’m just waiting like you guys, you’ll probably find out before I will.”

Henderson’s Twitter apology was not enough to stop Aru’s lawyer, Giuseppe Napoleone, from filing a lawsuit. Yesterday, they announced their action.

Napoleone said, the defamation legal action was “undertaken to protect the good name and integrity of the cyclist Fabio Aru.”

“I’ve never been in this situation before,” Henderson added.

“Worried? What can I do? Worrying is not going to solve the situation. Regrets? Of course, I didn’t want to cause this sort of commotion, that’s why… If I didn’t regret it, I wouldn’t have put an apology out.”

  • ummm…

    Not even the english language commentators on euro sport could stop themselves from pointing out that some people were upset with the victory that Astana achieved. It was done so under a very very dark cloud.

  • Jan Pieter Kastelein Bfa

    Aru and Astana had suddenly a superb form today 12-09 in the vuelta.

    At least I can be proud that Dumoulin biked like a real human being. I did not know about any allegation about Aru. But I wished Astana was banned and thus would not win the Vuelta doped.

  • ummm…

    I’m american. I don’t have a dog in the fight. Could it be overkill on Aru’s part?

  • JoshLyons

    I actually agree with you here. Although I’m not defending Aru. I’m only stating that Hendo did what he did with malicious intent – and I feel that it’s wrong. Sure they are all probably doping and that doesn’t really concern me – I too love cycling and give two hoot whether they’re doping or not but I’m not going to let my emotions get in the way of my judgement just because Hendo is Aussie.

  • Andrew Walsh

    Really ? What he said seemed pretty innocuous to me in the great scheme of things. And Aru’s lawyer will have trouble making such comments count as slander stick in court – depending, of course, where such a trial is held. The knee-jerk ‘lawyer issues writ’ behaviour I do find to be something the rich and privileged do to intimidate those who express their doubts freely – Lance Dopestrong being the greatest exemplar of the threatening lawyer. The old line from ‘Hamlet’ about ‘protesting too much’ seems pretty apposite here. If Aru were totally clean, a more likely behaviour would be a sort of Wiggins hissy fit at a press conference than this sort of sinister manouevre. I suspect the Astana lawyers have been calling the shots.

  • Andrew Walsh

    Very ironically amusing.

  • ummm…

    All signs point to these guys (the peloton) doping. I think the burden of proof is in their court now. What a bunch of jokes. If I decided to join a gang I wouldn’t get upset if ppl accused me of crimes. Likewise, if i was a top cyclists (or any pro) I wouldn’t be suprised if I was accused. These guys make it difficult to be a fan. They pretend as if we are dumb. Fans that defend pros just because they want to believe in a fantasy, or believe with no factual evidence, are part of the problem.

  • ummm…

    I would send money to Henderson in a hearbeat. Set it up then respond to this comment with a link.

  • ummm…

    oh please. read ChTboner’s comment. Witty and possibly revealing. Also, I don’t really care who says they are clean or not. Why do you defend these people? If you have doubts that he is doping it is better to say nothing, as most of the time it turns out they are doping. What makes you think you have more knowledge etc then Greg Henderson? I’m sure Greg doped too. He would know the signs. Stop defending pro athletes who are all juicing. Do you believe in the tooth fairy too? I’d love to see Henderson spend some cash to give Aru a run for his money in court. If Aru is clean, then suprise! But, Id rather bet on him not being. I’d also bet on Henderson not being clean. I like cycling because I like cycling, not because it is clean.

  • ChTboner

    Henderson was wrong!! How could he accuse a guy who suffered (supposedly) dissentry five weeks ago, lost 5kg, and is now in the best shape of his life to be a doper? How dare he?!

  • JoshLyons

    It was not ‘freedom of expression’ but a rather idiotic comment aimed directly at Aru with malicious intent – that’s clearly slander . You can’t just go around flinging wild accusations at other riders publicly because they are better than you. Henderson deserves to pay for his unprofessional attitude and nobody should defend his ignorance.

  • Leo

    Freedom of expression and slander are very different things. Slinging mud so publicly is not the smartest thing to do. Maybe it’s time that people saw that what we say online also has accountability. Henderson has been naive to say the least.

  • Treadlie rider

    What a goose Aru is. Guilty conscience perhaps?

  • reece46

    Kickstarter defence fund?

  • Andrew Walsh

    Using bully boy legal tactics to stifle freedom of expression is pretty suspect. The guy apologised – that would be enough for any gentleman, but I guess we aren’t dealing with gentlemen. Who hasn’t been surprised by the supersonic performance of the Astana team at the Giro – and all on nothing but a diet of water and illness.

  • Stewart Batch

    Yes, Armstrong and the UCI hierarchy used it! I am not saying Aru is not clean, but he should look at the Astana Team ethics for people’s mistrust!

  • skelto99

    Oh dear, this all sounds very familiar.