Netflix wins an Oscar for sports doping documentary 'Icarus'

Netflix wins an Oscar for sports doping documentary 'Icarus'

Netflix wins an Oscar for sports doping documentary 'Icarus'

The documentary from director Bryan Fogel about Russia's state-sanctioned doping program earned the award for Best Documentary Feature during Sunday's Academy Awards.

Fogel, an amateur cyclist, chose to apply a similar concept to athletics by using performance-enhancing drugs while training for a race in France and seeing if he could pass an anti-doping test.

In his acceptance speech, Fogel said, "We dedicate this award to Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, our fearless whistleblower who now lives in great danger".

After striking a chord during the Winter Olympics, Netflix's Icarus made an impression during the Oscars.

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Icarus' competitors were the US film "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail", the Danish-Syrian film "Last Men in Aleppo", the French film "Faces Places" and the US-Danish film "Strong Island".

Rodchenkov fled from Russia to the United States in the film and then assisted the World Anti-Doping Agency with its investigation into Russian doping. He said that Lance Armstrong's evasion of positive dope tests was the original impetus behind the film.

"I'm going, 'What's wrong with this picture, ' that the most-tested athlete on planet Earth managed to get through 500 scientific tests" and not get caught, Fogel says.

Rodchenkov, who is under USA protection, fled to the United States in 2016 after producing documents obtained during his years as Russia's anti-doping lab director which describe an elaborate ruse by Russian Federation and its athletes to evade doping tests. Fogel wanted to see if doping could help him win an amateur cycling event, and met Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, in the process. "I'm honored that this is their film".

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