New East Digital Archive

Icarus: Netflix documentary at the heart of Russian doping scandal wins 2018 Oscar

5 March 2018

The documentary which revealed allegations of state-sponsered doping for Russia’s Olympic athletes has snatched an Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards.

Icarus took home the prize in the best documentary feature category, fighting off competition from Syrian war film Last Men in Aleppo and French art epic Faces Places.

Directed by Bryan Fogel, the film starts with an attempt to cheat anti-doping tests at an amateur cycling race. But when Fogel enlists the help of Russian anti-doping official Grigory Rodchenkov — the man who would go on to accuse the Kremlin of backing a state-sponsered doping scheme for hundreds of Russian athletes — the documentary takes a turn into the murky world of sport, national pride and geopolitics.

Fogel dedicated the award to Rodchenkov, describing him as “our fearless whistleblower who now lives in grave danger”. “We hope ‘Icarus’ is a wake-up call — yes, about Russia — but more than that, about the importance of telling the truth,” he said.