Netflix Acquires Worldwide Rights to Russian Doping Documentary ‘Icarus’

Sundance 2017: Film details large-scale performance enhancing drug scandal from Sochi Olympics

Last Updated: January 25, 2017 @ 10:05 PM

Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to the Russian doping documentary “Icarus” after its screening at the Sundance Film Festival, TheWrap has learned.

The film follows Bryan Fogel, an endurance cyclist who sets out to investigate doping in sports by doping himself, documenting the changes in his performance over a pair of races, seeing if he can avoid detection.

Over the course of his investigation however, Fogel meets Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of Russia’s government anti-doping program. Over dozens of Skype calls in which the Russian expert instructs Fogel how to meet his goals, the two forge a deeply personal bond.

As shocking allegations emerge that Rodchenkov actually ran a large-scale doping scheme during the Sochi Olympics, and as accusations of illegality leading all the way to the Kremlin emerge, the two collaborate to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory.

“This has been an intense 3.5 year personal journey that exposed the biggest scandal in sports history,” Fogel said. “To be able to work with Netflix, a company that is able to launch this story globally in such a big way, with such potential for social and political impact, is a spectacular honor.”

The film is an Impact Partners presentation in association with Chicago Media Project, Diamond Docs and Alex Productions. “Icarus” was written by Fogel, Mark Monroe and Timothy Rode and produced by Dan Cogan, Fogel, David Fialkow and Jim Swartz.