Before you ask him, yes, Lance Armstong has seen the new doping documentary “Icarus” — and he loved it.
The embattled cyclist, who was banned from sanctioned Olympic sports for life in 2012 as a result of long-term doping offenses, even took to Twitter to praise Bryan Fogel’s Netflix film, which made the long list earlier this month for the Oscars’ Best Documentary Feature category.
“After being asked roughly a 1000 times if I’ve seen
@IcarusNetflix yet, I finally sat down to check it out,” Armstrong wrote on Tuesday. “Holy hell. It’s hard to imagine that I could be blown away by much in that realm but I was. Incredible work @bryanfogel!”
Fogel began “Icarus” as a first-person investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, inspired by Armstrong’s experience. But eventually the director stumbled onto Russia’s extensive state-sanctioned doping program, which recently got the country banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I started out to kind of make a ‘Super Size Me’ doc, that I was gonna be a guinea pig and see whether or not the anti-doping system worked,” the director told TheWrap at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. “In the process of doing this, I get put in touch with this guy, Grigory Rodchenkov.”
However, Fogel realized something wasn’t quite right. “We’re Skyping back and forth, I go to Moscow, and all this time I’m going ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got the scientist who’s Russia’s anti-doping lab, he should not be doing this, what am I going to do?'”
Soon after, an independent report alleged widespread doping among Russian athletes, with Rodchenkov — the director of the Anti-Doping Centre in Moscow and the man in charge of testing all of Russia’s athletes — at the center of it.
After decades of cycling successes, Armstrong’s reputation was forever tarnished when — after denying for years that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs — he finally admitted to doping in a January 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Since then, all his results going back to August 1998, including his seven Tour wins, have been voided.