A documentary focusing on the Russian doping scandal has premiered at the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City in Utah.
Entitled "Icarus", the documentary is the product of American filmmaker Bryan Fogel who spent nearly two years documenting the scope of the alleged Russian doping programme.
The beginning of the film sees cycling enthusiast Fogel looking to tell a story in which he experimented with performance-enhancing drugs, stemming from his fascination with Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner who was stripped of his titles after admitting to doping.
Keen to test how much of an upper hand performance-enhancing drugs provide riders, he seeks out American anti-doping scientist Don Catlin to help him dose up before an amateur race.
Catlin then refers Fogel to the then Moscow anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov, who would go on to make allegations to the New York Times about a Russian doping operation at events including the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.
Rodchenkov alleged the Russian Sports Ministry "directed, controlled and oversaw" a "unique" method of sample manipulation during Sochi 2014, involving a sample-swapping method where they had been able to open and reseal tamper-proof bottles.
Having fled to Russia for the United States, he then assisted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-Commissioned investigation by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, which alleged that around 1,000 Russians across Summer, Winter, non-Olympic and Paralympic sport were implicated in a doping manipulation scheme at events taking place between 2011 and 2015.
Variety quotes Rodchenkov as saying in the film that: "I do not believe that the Olympic Games can be won without any pharmacological support."
Rodcehnkov also admits to spending years helping to obtain steroids for Russian athletes and then disguising the effects.
"You are on the first floor," he tells Fogel in the film, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"There is a second floor."
Dan Cogan, a producer on the film, told the Los Angeles Times "everything changed" in November 2015, when the first WADA Independent Commission report into numerous allegations of anti-doping rule violations put Rodchenkov at the centre of the escalating scandal.
"All of a sudden we're thinking, 'How do we keep this person - or even us - safe from the Russians?" he said in an interview.
In "Icarus", Rodchenkov flees to the US amid increasing fear over the Russian Government’s response to the allegations he makes on camera.
Fogel and Cogan put him up in a Southern California safe house, but after two of Rodchenkov's colleagues die in mysterious circumstances several weeks later, he is urged by Fogel and producers to go to the New York Times in the hope that he will be safer if he's known to the public.
This eventually led to McLaren's investigation, which provided evidence last month.
Disciplinary proceedings have been opened by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) against 28 Russians who competed at Sochi 2014.
German television journalist Hajo Seppelt, whose documentaries for the ARD channel triggered investigations by WADA into Russian doping, has confirmed a new documentary on the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs is due to be aired tomorrow.
"ARD German TV with new facts: Whistleblower/Doping. Sunday, January 22," Seppelt tweeted.
Russian track and field athlete Andrey Dmitriev is reported to be the focus of the documentary.