Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Bryan Fogel: 'Icarus' (2017)

Bryan Fogel's Academy Award-winning documentary film Icarus (Netflix, 2017) spotlights underground performance-enhancing drugs -- doping -- in sports. While doping itself is hardly surprising at this juncture (see Lance Armstrong), the international scale of usage, with the extensive backing of governments (such as Russia's) remains shocking and pernicious. 
Fogel's own willingness to stick needles into himself in order to improve his amateur bicycle ranking is also shocking, but the kicker is his burgeoning relationship with Grigory Rodchenkov, a Russian VIP in the world of doping -- a man who eventually turns on his overlords and is now in witness protection, no doubt with Vladimir Putin's enforcers even at this moment trying to hunt him down "with extreme prejudice." 
Icarus is riveting, considerably more so than, say, a film about Edward Snowden. 

Bottom line: all kinds of sports are compromised by such activities. Follow the money -- and the egos of competitors.  

Today's Rune: Harvest. Painting of Icarus: Jacob Peter Gowy, La caída de Ícaro (circa 1636). Museo del Prado, Madrid. 

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