Lance Armstrong Will Host Reception for Doping Doc 'Icarus' (Exclusive)

Icarus -still 1-H 2017

It seemed like a Christmas — or day-after-Christmas — miracle when Lance Armstrong himself, the cycling legend who was later exposed as a steroids user, tweeted heaps of praise about Bryan Fogel's Oscar-shortlisted Netflix doping doc Icarus, which was partially inspired by Armstrong's fall from grace.

Armstrong wrote: "After being asked roughly a 1000 times if I’ve seen @IcarusNetflix yet, I finally sat down to check it out. Holy hell. It’s hard to imagine that I could be blown away by much in that realm but I was. Incredible work @bryanfogel!"

But it gets better. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that on the evening of Jan. 6, the day after Oscar nomination voting opens, Armstrong will host a New York screening and reception for Icarus, at a time and place still to be determined.

The Armstrong evening, which will be co-hosted by Robert Stone, is but one of several special events for Icarus to which voters and tastemakers are being invited as part of a final pre-noms push for the film.

Others include one hosted by producer Frank Marshall at Netflix's Los Angeles headquarters Jan. 4; another hosted by Telluride Film Festival chiefs Julie Huntsinger and Tom Luddy in San Francisco on Jan. 8; another hosted by Rob Reiner and former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul at Beverly Hills' Paley Media Center on Jan. 9; and still another hosted by whistle-blower Bill Browder, who has been called "Putin enemy no. 1," at The Frontline Club in London on Jan. 11.

"I first learned that Lance Armstrong had watched Icarus from his tweet after Christmas," Fogel tells THR, "and I was really happy that he responded so positively to the film. He was certainly punished in having his seven Tour titles stripped from him, and this is a subject that is obviously very close to him personally. But the scope of the Russia conspiracy, in my opinion, shows that Lance's doping was really just a needle in the global haystack of sporting frauds."

Fogel continues, "I'm hoping that Lance’s support of the film will help to bring further attention to this scandal and to Russia’s meddling into world competitions, and global politics, with the intent to win at all costs. More importantly, I hope that his support will help to further protect Dr. Grigroy Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who is now being hunted by Russia for his bravery to tell the truth."

Fogel recently was a guest on THR's "Awards Chatter" podcast during the opening segment of the Clive Davis episode. You can listen to the half-hour conversation with him here.