Icarus Documentary

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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853guy
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by 853guy

Just watched Icarus, Bryan Fogel's documentary on Netflix.

Structurally, one can argue it lost its way in the second half, but then often real life does. In terms of content though, I was surprised Fogel's own attempts at doping clearly provided an increase in wattage, despite his poor finish in the Haute Route. Perhaps what was most depressing, if completely unsurprising, was how easy it was for an amateur with some good advice and an organised doping protocol to be likely to avoid detection, despite the obvious gains.

Anyone else seen it, and have comments?

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853guy

by Weenie


AJS914
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by AJS914

I thought it was interesting. It was definitely entertaining.

The premise of the original concept was to demonstrate that you can dope, win, and get away with it. It's really not an earth shattering concept in 2018 as we now know the pro peloton did it for 15 or 20 years. It also made me think that the rest of the top guys doing Haute Route are probably doped. The winner is an ex-doper.

He lucked upon the later half of the movie, having made the connection with the Russian guy who helped engineer their systematic doping regime at the Olympics.

AJS914
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by AJS914

BTW, Armstrong interviewed Fogel on his podcast.

https://soundcloud.com/user-411867241

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853guy
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by 853guy

AJS914 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:47 pm
I thought it was interesting. It was definitely entertaining.

The premise of the original concept was to demonstrate that you can dope, win, and get away with it.
Yes. But that an amateur could access anti-aging/PEDs so easily for the express purpose of enhancing performance with no questions asked was a surprise to me. And yet, at the same time, I'm aware the overwhelming amount of dudes getting massive gains in the gym and talking selfies in the bathroom totally ripped isn't down to just diet and exercise, either.
AJS914 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:47 pm
It's really not an earth shattering concept in 2018 as we now know the pro peloton did it for 15 or 20 years.
Which also raises the question of how many are still doing it, and getting away with it, surely.
AJS914 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:47 pm
It also made me think that the rest of the top guys doing Haute Route are probably doped. The winner is an ex-doper.
Very definitely inferred. Actually kinda hoped to see where the film may have ended up had it looked into doping among amateurs.
AJS914 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:47 pm
He lucked upon the later half of the movie, having made the connection with the Russian guy who helped engineer their systematic doping regime at the Olympics.
Which was, in-and-of-itself fascinating, but funnily enough less surprising to me than the initial storyline.

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853guy

KWalker
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by KWalker

I forget where I saw it, but there was an anonymous poll of USAC racers Cat1-4 and IIRC ~1/3 claimed to have used something banned. Whether that was an inhaler without a TUE or EPO is to be determined, but I would wager half of the masters peloton in competitive regions is doped on some sort of anabolic or androgenic substance. It is incredibly obvious and masters get popped all the time, but not so often that it's all that risky. Go to almost any race at the start of the season and then another race anywhere near Master's Nats. Go to a crit on a calm day for a good example. Many times a master's break will record faster lap times than the P1/2 field and those same guys will be a lot faster and leaner than just a few months prior.
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AJS914
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by AJS914

But that an amateur could access anti-aging/PEDs so easily for the express purpose of enhancing performance with no questions asked was a surprise to me.
That's the thing with master's racers - they have money. You just need to look up your local anti-aging doc and say, 'hey I'm 50 and want to feel 35 again. I do a lot of cycling and want to hang with the young guys. I need a little something for muscle building and a little something for recovery." Pay for the expensive visits and pay cash for the prescriptions. If you have easy access to Mexico you can probably get whatever you want cheap. Or, you can go to the darknet and take your chances.

Sweetbabyj45
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by Sweetbabyj45

Just fyi, there's also a Joe Rogan podcast with Brian fogel which adds to the back story and more to the story itself. I highly recommend it.

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silvalis
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by silvalis

Also the Ctips interview with Fogel

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/09/doping- ... yan-fogel/
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853guy
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by 853guy

KWalker wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:46 am
I forget where I saw it, but there was an anonymous poll of USAC racers Cat1-4 and IIRC ~1/3 claimed to have used something banned. Whether that was an inhaler without a TUE or EPO is to be determined, but I would wager half of the masters peloton in competitive regions is doped on some sort of anabolic or androgenic substance. It is incredibly obvious and masters get popped all the time, but not so often that it's all that risky. Go to almost any race at the start of the season and then another race anywhere near Master's Nats. Go to a crit on a calm day for a good example. Many times a master's break will record faster lap times than the P1/2 field and those same guys will be a lot faster and leaner than just a few months prior.
Hmm, interesting. See, I still can't work out if this sport has a drug problem, an oversight problem, or simply a reality problem in which in order to be competitive people are taking substances to boost performance and/or recovery because in reality, they are not competitive due to age or genetics or whatever.

I can't work it out.

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853guy

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853guy
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by 853guy

AJS914 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:06 am
But that an amateur could access anti-aging/PEDs so easily for the express purpose of enhancing performance with no questions asked was a surprise to me.
That's the thing with master's racers - they have money. You just need to look up your local anti-aging doc and say, 'hey I'm 50 and want to feel 35 again. I do a lot of cycling and want to hang with the young guys. I need a little something for muscle building and a little something for recovery." Pay for the expensive visits and pay cash for the prescriptions. If you have easy access to Mexico you can probably get whatever you want cheap. Or, you can go to the darknet and take your chances.
Honestly, after seeing Icarus, I have way more questions than I've ever had. It's like Lance became a lightening rod for everyone's discontent, when in fact, doping is more accessible than ever provided you have the money, and possibly - for reasons that may or may not be justifiable and/or ethical - being carried out by "good guys" here on this forum. I mean, that's a possibility, right?

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853guy

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853guy
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by 853guy

Sweetbabyj45 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:45 am
Just fyi, there's also a Joe Rogan podcast with Brian fogel which adds to the back story and more to the story itself. I highly recommend it.

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Thanks, yeah I actually saw that on YouTube - just need to find two hours to watch it.

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853guy

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853guy
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by 853guy

silvalis wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:58 am
Also the Ctips interview with Fogel

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/09/doping- ... yan-fogel/
Thanks, that was interesting too.

I guess in a lot of ways his questions are my questions.

"I don’t think the question is whether or not cycling is clean or not clean, or whether or not sport can be clean or not clean. I think the question is, what, as fans and as participants, are we willing to accept and not accept? And how do we continue to find enjoyment and love and that passion for sport knowing that medical technology and science and human evolution is going to continue?"

"Because that’s the only way that there can be change, whether or not the anti-doping system has a solution in all of the hurdles that it faces, there has to be integrity within the leadership of these organizations — the Olympics and the individual sporting federations — to uphold rules. Because if not, what is the point of the Olympic games? What is the point of any of these competitions if the organizers themselves are basically encouraging you to cheat?"

In other words, what is the point of this sport?

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853guy

Shrike
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by Shrike

One of the main criticisms you'll see of this documentary around the internet is that it loses track and people take issue with that. Someone even called it 'disjointed'. Read some Burroughs then come back to me on that :roll:

Anyway, I thought that was why this documentary was so brilliant. Fogel had the honesty to let it go where it needed to go - the greater story that was emerging. There's honesty in that which the best circle jerk documentaries of recent years lack.

To be more specific - I'm looking at the vegan/animal agriculture/clean eating/sugar etc documentaries. They set out with a narrative and unsurprisingly everything fits together just beautifully.

Nothing in life is so neat. I subscribe to a lot of the same personal ethics, but those documentaries do skirt truths to keep their narrative direction. I'd much prefer an honest journey like Fogels, where say a vegan went out to discover some issue and their journey led them to somewhere they didn't expect. Leave it open, in a sincere way.

Non vegans would be much more sympathetic then. People are capable of being rational, but you have to strip away the tribalism first, which requires the author taking the first step too.

Fogel did great, got lucky of course, but he did great in letting the story run. He could have easily kept it about his personal journey and the ease of doping in amateur events. Shame a lot of automatons couldn't get past that.

AJS914
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by AJS914

Honestly, after seeing Icarus, I have way more questions than I've ever had. It's like Lance became a lightening rod for everyone's discontent, when in fact, doping is more accessible than ever provided you have the money, and possibly - for reasons that may or may not be justifiable and/or ethical - being carried out by "good guys" here on this forum. I mean, that's a possibility, right?
Even 15 or 20 years ago 50-60 year old guys in my cycling club were doping. There was no "cheating" because their only competition was the Sunday club ride. These guys were of a certain age and wanted to feel younger. I know they were doing testosterone and there was another guy who was doing HGH. People used to say that he looked 10 years younger than he was.

I'm not racing and I would consider some mild "doping" if I was sure it wouldn't give me cancer. The thing is I'd rather be slow and not have my balls shrink from steroids or get cancer from doping.
"I don’t think the question is whether or not cycling is clean or not clean, or whether or not sport can be clean or not clean. I think the question is, what, as fans and as participants, are we willing to accept and not accept? And how do we continue to find enjoyment and love and that passion for sport knowing that medical technology and science and human evolution is going to continue?"
EPO was a game changer. Previous to EPO drugs were that big of a deal because they didn't change minor riders into great champions. Riders like Lemond or Hinault really didn't have to worry about a lower tier rider taking some drugs and then being able to win the Tour.

The next game changer is genetic doping. They will use Crispr to genetically dope embryos. Western countries might find this gross and offensive at this stage but I wouldn't doubt that countries like Russia or North Korea are already experimenting on embryos. I read that the first genetically doped athlete has probably already been born.

Carcinogent
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by Carcinogent

The documentary fades in comaprison to all the interviews Bryan Fogel has been doing - that includes CyclingTips and the 2 part on the Lance Armstrong Stages podcast. Jsut my 2 cents.

by Weenie


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