The record of the former basketball player Amaya Valdemoro is so full of records and triumphs that it does not fit in an article that deals with another matter. It can be consulted on its page Wikipedia. The athlete also recommends a documentary with multiple awards, such as the 2017 Oscar in its category. It is a fascinating title, Icarus, available on Netflix.
“I think it is mandatory to see for those who love sports” emphasizes the Madrid from Alcobendas, who adds: “In life, as in sport, there are always cheats and I recommend this documentary because it is incredible how far the human mind can go to deceive. In my case, when I saw it, it brought me down to hell. I think it is surprising how much they do to achieve a goal, which this time is the Olympic success of a country. ”
“The director was very brave in taking drugs and experiencing the consequences on his body”
Icarus it is an extreme case of serendipity, of finding something that was not wanted. Valdemoro tells the origin of the project, which can be seen in the first part of it: “The documentary, for those who have not seen it, begins a little with the director’s investigation of how his body can change when doping. The beginning reminded me a bit to the documentary of Supersize me, what the body experienced when eating junk food. In this case, it is what can cause doping and what he is discovering. Honestly, everything that Bryan Fogel, a cycling lover, finds is incredible. He was very brave when it came to deciding to dope to be able to say in first person what performance can change and the consequences it can have on your body. ”
As Amaya Valdemoro explains, the director, Bryan Fogel, an amateur cyclist fanatic, wanted to show the effect of doping drugs on his body for a year, between two editions of the Haute Route, the toughest non-professional bicycle race in the world. He was interested in individual cases of athletes who doped, so he also wanted to show how controls could be circumvented, his proposal was somewhat modest. And there he found the true treasure of his research. Some doctors and others, frightened by the morality of the proposal and its implications, refused to help him and directed him to a less scrupulous Russian colleague, Grigori Rodchenkov, who turned out to be the star, the villain and the news bomb of the documentary.
“The character of Grigori is very intelligent, a narcissist who only thinks about himself”
Valdemoro introduces the Russian: “I think the character of Grigori is a super intelligent person, totally narcissistic, who only thinks about him. He is the architect of the entire plot of Russian doping. He laughs at the illusion of thousands of people, of million. It is clear that in what he did he was number one but he could have applied it in different ways. The first image of him making a video call in his underpants explaining what can change the performance of an ordinary person says it all, it’s like laughing He does not care about everything. He can change the course of any athlete, even an athlete amateur, which is how he begins to establish that dialogue with that director who wants to dope to see the changes in the human body of a person. He goes to Gregori because everyone rejects the option of doping him because it’s crazy. ”
Doing only the minimum spoiler, Grigori turns out to be the lynchpin of a huge plot with implications for Olympism and geopolitics that the documentary itself brought to light. The rest must be seen. Sanctions on Russia after massive and systematic fraud was proven were erratic. Their athletes were not prevented from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics, after the scandal was recently uncovered. For Valdemoro: “The fact is a bit strange. But, in the end, if we look at the course, Russia is one of the great powers since the beginning of the Olympics and I also think that not all Russian athletes had taken drugs. I think that it was so that those who had never taken drugs could compete under the neutral banner of Olympism. ”
The athlete delves into the complexity of the decision-making of the Olympic Committees: “It is true that now in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 those who have not been doped can participate. It is very complicated. There are many keys by which They can participate, economic issues, politics, not everyone is guilty. For the Russian athletes who have been competing, it has been very difficult because of the looks of the other athletes, because everyone thought they were guilty of doping. I am nobody I think the Olympic Committee has to decide that and the Russians who are competing will be because they have a totally clean doping record. ”
“I would not sleep comfortably thinking that I have doped, I would know that I have cheated”
Amaya Valdemoro has developed her career in the world where doping occurs: “What do I believe? That they are throwing away years of sacrifice and effort to improve their brands. People think that you dope and You are going to become world champion and it is not like that. It is also believed that the athlete who takes a drug takes a pill and runs more, no. The athlete who dopes has to work a lot. These are the values of each one, me I would not sleep comfortably thinking that I have doped because deep down I would know that I have cheated and sport is not about that. I have been an athlete for many years and the subject always comes up, and the truth is that in women’s basketball there has been no no strong case. It is clear that doping is known, and the further away, the better because it tarnishes. ”
Not only that, his career has taken him to the Russian league, the heart of the doping system and the subsequent cleaning of the telltale urine that is exposed in the documentary. This is how the former player remembers it: “From 2005 to 2008 I was playing for the Russian CSK and the truth is that I have not seen anything different from the ones I experienced when I was playing, for example, in the women’s NBA, or in Turkey. They did tests on us. or test, also after major sporting events and everything was going well. It must also be said that doping is much more common in individual sport than in team sport. I insist, in Russia they have carried out so many tests on me antidoping as in all competitions, both in European and club and world competitions as in the Olympics. Everything perfect and without any problem “.
“There has to be a greater investment to catch the cheaters and greater penalties”
Valdemoro emphasizes his absolute rejection of illegal drugs in sport: “Doping is serious, in the end we are seeing how in the United States and in other countries people who dope end up going to jail. What moves all this? money, it’s easy. The prizes that athletes can receive, the recognition. And then the whole network of products also involves large amounts. I think it would be necessary to keep it in mind and that the sanctions were exemplary, much tougher for it to end In the doping race, we are seeing it, doping is ahead of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), and it is so. ”
And to illustrate it, he gives an eloquent example: “This is not known, but from the race in Seoul in ’88, where Ben Johnson won, of the eight finalists in the hundred-meter race all but one were doped. There is a report on ESPN that it’s called 9´79 in which it comes out. So I think there has to be a greater investment in catching the cheater and that the sanctions are exemplary so that it is not done again. ”
And since cheating is not exclusive to any activity, Amaya Valdemoro prescribes this research to all audiences: “I would like to end up recommending Icarus not only sports lovers, but also people who do not like it because it is an exciting journey in which you often see the quality of people. You stay, as I say, ojiplática, because it is incredible what the human being can do “.