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Bugno: I respect Armstrong but he has to pay

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Gianni Bugno getting ready for a helicopter flight for Italian TV.

Gianni Bugno getting ready for a helicopter flight for Italian TV. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Former professional Gianni Bugno

Former professional Gianni Bugno (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Gianni Bugno, the head of the Cyclistes Professionels Associés (CPA), the International Cyclists' Association, has said that Lance Armstrong should pay for what he has done to cycling but contradictorily added that the sport shouldn't concentrate on the past.

Bugno's career as a professional was highlighted by back-to-back road race world championships in 1991-1992 plus the overall victory at the 1990 Giro d'Italia, a race he led from start to finish. The Italian, a competitor of Armstrong later in the 1990s, retired in 1998, a year before Armstrong won his first Tour de France; which was later stripped from him through USADA's Reasoned Decision.

"It's difficult to talk about. In my eyes, as an ex-athlete I respect him. I can't say he's a champion but I respect him as an athlete. However, if he has done something wrong he has to pay for that. It wasn't good what he did to cycling. He'll pay for what he has done," Bugno told Cyclingnews.

Last month Bugno, in his position as head of the CPA, appeared to welcome the concept of a truth and reconciliation package within cycling. There appears to be growing momentum for the idea too, even with the beleaguered UCI adding their support to the idea. Armstrong's legal counsel have also made noises on the topic. Although there is no framework in place WADA appear to be the only organisation with the ability to create a structure for cyclists, past and present, to come forward.

Bugno, however, appeared lukewarm on the idea, saying that cycling should look forward, although he added that he agreed with the ideology of truth.

"I think we should draw a line and close the past and go ahead with the future. We shouldn't concentrate on the past. I agree with truth and reconciliation as a concept but for me it's about the future."

Asked if he would be willing to come forward and cooperate with any information he had on his own career, or those he rode with during the 1990s when EPO use was arguably at its most rampant, Bugno said:

"When you talk about the past it's difficult to give an answer. Doping is a problem in all sports, not just cycling. I agree with the idea of talking about the truth but I don't see the point in looking into the past and going into that. I prefer to talk about the future even if I agree with the ideology of talking about the past."

"Talking about doping all the time isn't good. The anti-doping fight is really strong and we should concentrate on that. We can go into the past and look at what happened with Armstrong and everything that came out but this isn't good for cycling and that's what I've heard lately from talking to the riders. Now anyone who thinks about cycling thinks about doping."

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Daniel Benson

 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both and Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.