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Documentary About Russian Sports Doping Wins Oscar


Icarus, Documentary On Russian Doping Scandal, Wins Oscar
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Icarus, a film about doping in Russia has won the Oscar for best documentary.

U.S. director Bryan Fogel's film was made with the assistance of Grigory Rodchenkov, the former Moscow anti-doping laboratory director who now lives in the United States.

Fogel dedicated the award to Rodchenkov, whom he described as "our fearless whistle-blower who now lives in grave danger."

Rodchenkov, who is under U.S. protection, fled to the United States in 2016 after producing documents obtained during his years as Russia's anti-doping lab director which describe an elaborate ruse by Russia and its athletes to evade doping tests.

Rodchenkov said the evidence supported his allegations that Russia perpetrated a urine-swapping scheme at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and that the doping scheme extended to Russia's track and field athletes.

Russia has repeatedly denied state involvement in doping and accused Rodchenkov of forging doping evidence against Russian athletes at the behest of "foreign" forces.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on March 5 declined to comment on the the documentary's winning the prize, saying that Rodchenkov is "surrounded by significant controversy."

But State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told the media that the decision to give the award to Icarus "reflects U.S. efforts to politicize the whole world."

Overall, the Shape of Water won four Oscars, including for best picture, at the Academy Awards ceremonies.

The film by Guillermo del Toro -- about a mute woman who falls in love with a mystery aquatic creature kept captive in a government lab -- captured the most highly acclaimed movie award in the world late on March 4 in a televised ceremony from Los Angeles.

Gary Oldman won for his leading role as British wartime leader Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Oldman, 59, was the favorite after winning prizes at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild, and numerous other events.

Frances McDormand won the best actress Oscar for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

With reporting by AP, ABC, and TASS
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