Icarus explores the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the world's biggest sporting competitions.


In the documentary film, Bryan Fogel reveals that doping is widespread in every series sporting competition, and even that government officials were aware of this occurring and did nothing to stop it.

Where to watch Icarus?

You can watch the film on Netflix.

What is the documentary Icarus about?

The documentary film Icarus explores the world of top-tier sport and how famous athletes like Lance Armstrong have managed to cheat the system and win.

The series' name is a play on the Greek myth where the son of the craftsman Daedalus, called Icarus, was built mechanical wings by his father so that he might escape form Crete. He was warned however not to fly too close to the sun because the heat would cause the contraption to disintegrate, as it was made of feathers and wax, but Icarus did not listen to his father and ended up falling to his death.

Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

Bryan Fogel says in his introductory narration, "The idea that I had was to prove the system in place to test athletes was bulls**t. When I started on this, I certainly didn't know what it was going to lead to."

He reveals how doping can wreck the reputations of even the world's most established athletes - like Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

What he ended up discovering was that the doping problem in sport was far worse than anyone could have imagined, and his discoveries have produced real questions about the legitimacy of almost any major sporting competition in the world.

How many episodes of Icarus are there?

The film has just one instalment, which is 121 minutes long.

What else can I read or watch?

For more films about drug use in sport, you might want to watch The Armstrong Lie (2013), The Program (2015), or Tour de Pharmacy (2017).


There have been numerous books written on the topic of doping in sport, but our top five are Mark Johnson's Spitting in the Soup: Inside the Dirty Game of Doping in Sports (2016), Doping in Sport and the Law (2016), The Anti-Doping Crisis in Sport (2018), The Secret Race (2012) and David Walsh's Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong.