With the tagline “Truth is the new banned substance,” a new film coming out next month on Netflix takes an extremely personal approach to examining Russia’s Olympic doping scandal.
“Icarus,” a documentary from director Bryan Fogel, premieres Aug. 4 on the streaming service. Fogel’s hands-on approach to his subject matter may shock some viewers.
“Fogel’s bold gambit was this: to investigate doping in sports, Fogel (an amateur bike racer) would dope himself, observe the changes in his performance, and see if he could evade detection,” Netflix says in a press release announcing the project. “In doing so, he was connected to a renegade Russian scientist, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a pillar of his country’s ‘anti-doping’ program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program.”
The announcement adds: “When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia’s highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory. Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. Icarus places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life.”
Here’s a trailer posted today by Netflix …