Icarus

Icarus

Available on Netflix
As an avid and competitive amateur cyclist, Bryan Fogel set out to make a documentary about doping in sports, the competitive culture that would lead cyclists like Lance Armstrong to take performance-enhancing drugs to win and then lie about it, and show that the systems in place were inadequate to stop it. This led to him meeting a Russian doping expert named Grigory Rodchenkov, an athlete turned scientist who guides Fogel through the process of injecting performance-enhancing drugs and steroids, including how much, how often, and when to stop to pass drug tests as he prepares to compete in Haute Route, a cycling race considered to be the toughest in the world. An unlikely bond develops between the two, and a friendship is clearly sealed during Fogel's visit with Rodchenkov in Moscow. As Fogel broods on why his quirky new friend is willing to help him in this project, Rodchenkov's world is turned upside-down after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) presents a damning report on state-sponsored doping of Russian Olympic athletes. Fearing for his friend's life as he begins to see some of the other participants in the scandal die under mysterious circumstances, Fogel helps Rodchenkov escape to America. In the United States, as Rodchenkov fears for his life, he reveals everything he knows about a far-reaching scandal that goes all the way up to Vladimir Putin. As more reports corroborate Rodchenkov's testimony, ICARUS uncovers the modern-day cloak-and-dagger behavior of a country's government willing to cheat for the sake of national pride, and how the numerous gold medal victories from this cheating also elevated Putin's sagging popularity to the point where he had the political leverage to invade neighboring countries and continue with a policy of silencing dissent.
Starring Bryan Fogel, Richard Pound, Dave Zabriskie
Director Bryan Fogel