We’ve said it before: the Russian doping scandal that has plagued the track world is fodder for a spy novel or a solid big screen drama.
Now, the real-life drama that has caused many to lose faith in the sport has been turned into movie format. You might want to pop a whole bag of popcorn and settle in before pressing play because this one’s sure to have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
For years, athletes who have competed against Russia’s best have known that the country raises its athletes in a system rigged by doping. When the details of the country’s systemic cheating structure became exposed late in 2015, it was revealed that the problem has been going on for decades and it didn’t involved just a clever cheating system between coaches and athletes, but rather it filtered all the way up to Putin.
When German filmmakers caught incriminating evidence on audio and on film and exposed it in a documentary, the world was outraged. Most said it was much, much worse than previously perceived. It also led to the country being kicked out of the 2016 Rio Olympics as part of a suspension on all international competition.
The new-to-Netflix documentary that details all of this is called Icarus. It’s created by filmmaker Bryan Fogel and stars Grigory Rodchenkov. This movie has it all from Cold War Era politics, to mysterious murders, to a decades-old crafty plan to con the entire world in athletic competition. On top of that, it features interviews with the man who claims to have cheated the Olympic Games.
It will be available on the popular streaming service on Aug. 4.