'Icarus,' film that helped expose Russian doping, wins Oscar for best documentary

Updated: March 5, 2018, 8:50 AM ET
ESPN

The Bryan Fogel-Dan Cogan film "Icarus," which helped expose Russia's widespread doping of its athletes, won the Oscar for best documentary on Sunday night.

The documentary, distributed by Netflix, began with the premise of Fogel, an amateur cyclist, out to prove how easy it is to beat a drug test. But along the way, he met the then-director of the Moscow anti-doping lab, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, and stumbled upon one of the biggest scandals in sports history.

Ultimately, more than 1,000 athletes across 30 sports were implicated in Russia's state-sponsored doping program. Russian track and field athletes were barred from competing at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, and 111 winter athletes were ruled ineligible for the recently completed Pyeongchang Winter Games. Others had medals and results stripped.

The Russian Olympic Committee was suspended from participating at Pyeongchang, though many athletes were invited to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia.

In the course of making "Icarus," two of Rodchenkov's colleagues died under mysterious circumstances, and Rodchenkov -- who oversaw doping protocols and test sample tampering at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games -- fled to the United States.

Rodchenkov first told his story to The New York Times in May 2016. He said he remains in fear for his life and under the protection of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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