Icarus: Steroid documentary or spy thriller? | Reaction & Review w/Dean Saddoris of Caffeine and Kilos

This month’s media review and react episode is centered on the documentary “Icarus.” Dean Saddoris joins us to discuss this Oscar-winning 2017 documentary. This episode definitely contains spoilers. 

Filmmaker and cyclist Bryan Fogel made himself a guinea pig to learn if steroids would dramatically improve his race performance – and maybe more importantly, whether he could do it without being detected like Lance Armstrong. He ends up in the middle of a WADA and International Olympic Committee investigation acting as an intermediary for a man who has become his friend and steroid mentor – who also happens to be the head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory. Dark forces within the highest levels of Russian government attempt to scare them off the path to exposing a massive cheating scandal – even though that appears to be the only shot at safety and surviva

This film seemed particularly appropriate right now as the USAPL is locked in a dispute with International Powerlifting Association, in part because of anti-doping measures involving WADA. 

What happens when the decision to use steroids in competition is not so much personal, but expected as part of a nation’s drive to succeed on the world stage? Why would the lab director be so forthcoming about his role in a system of widespread cheating? And what drove an American filmmaker to put himself in the middle of an international incident? Is this the best sports documentary of all time? 

You can find Dean on Instagram @deansaddoris.ck, and at caffeineandkilos.com.

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