Friday, August 4, 2017 at 5 a.m.
Rodchenkov, Fogel and what appears to be the world’s worst beer flight.
Icarus premieres August 4 on Netflix.
Give Putin this: The man knows how to deny his government’s elaborate, outrageous conspiracies violating international laws and norms. To this day, despite the 37 medals that have been stripped from his nation’s Olympians, Putin insists that Russia never engaged in a longrunning campaign of doping its athletes and then faking samples for the drug tests administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency. While they won’t quite admit the truth of any element of this well-documented scandal, Putin and his subordinates have sometimes placed blame for it all on one man, Grigory Rodchenkov, the scientist who for years served as the director of Moscow’s (official) Anti-Doping Center – and also as the director, off the books, of a program whose mission was precisely the opposite of what is suggested in that institution’s name. We could call it the Anti-Anti-Doping Center, complete with a little hole in the wall of the testing rooms through which stored, drug-free urine was slipped to fake the samples of athletes pumped full of PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs).
That’s all in the public record, thanks to Rodchenkov’s disclosures to the New York Times and later testimony in court. But never has the story been told with the urgency of Bryan Fogel’s new doc Icarus, a real-life absurdist thriller that, in its electric coverage of one Russian scandal, can’t help but illuminate another ongoing one.
The story opens with director Fogel, a competitive amateur cyclist,…
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