Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov's life remains at risk.

By Chris Chavez
March 04, 2018

"Icarus" won the Oscar for best documentary feature at the 90th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night and director Brian Fogel took a second to dedicate the award to Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov.

"We dedicate this award to Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov – a fearless whistleblower who now lives in grave danger," Fogel said. "We hope Icarus is a wakeup call. Yes, about Russia but more than that about the importance of telling the truth." 

The Netflix documentary follows Fogel's curiosity into doping in sports, which uncovers the state-sponsored Russian doping program at the 2014 Winter Olympics and beyond by the man who oversaw its execution as the head of Moscow's anti-doping lab. In the film, Rodchenkov reveals that the Russian Sports Ministry put together a unique method of manipulating anti-doping testing at the Winter Games in Sochi by sample-swapping and taking cocktails of banned drugs. Russian coaches, officials and politicians are all implicated in the scandal.

Rodchenkov fled from Russia to the United States in the film and then assisted the World Anti-Doping Agency with its investigation into Russian doping. A report by Richard McLaren later alleged that more than 1,000 Russian athletes were implicated in a doping scandal.

Rodchenkov is in hiding but presumed to be in the United States. Russia has submitted requests to Interpol for arrest warrants for Rodchenkov to be extradited from the U.S. and face criminal charges. Leonid Tygachev, a former head of Russia's Olympic Committe, has previously suggested that Rodchenkov should be "shot for lying – like Stalin would have done."

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