When heroes lie movie poster


When heroes lie

A documentary film that uses the doping scandal among Finnish ski heroes to expose the international framework of lies in modern sport and modern society.

When an entire group of Finnish skiers tested positive for doping in the Lahti World Championships of 2001, it revealed the systematic and long-term history of the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. The event also disclosed the hypocrisy of a community that demands heroes and needs to create champions – at any cost. The means by which these heroes are manufactured is hidden from the general public, and indeed the public isn’t even interested in the details.

The documentary When Heroes Lie depicts the history of doping all the way from the ’70s until the current age. We follow the dramatic turns of the World Championships in Lahti 2001, and the trial of the Finnish news agency STT, which started in 1998. As a result of long and thorough research, much new information is shown in the movie about doping culture in Finnish cross-country skiing: its birth, its extent, and its central influences. The movie includes interviews with coaches, skiers, and experts known in the doping-culture around the world, as well as archive material gathered from different sources.

The movie portrays, through the lens of sport, the way our society creates the foundation for lies and double-standards in our attempts to win. It also raises the question of whether the distortions in sport are a reflection of the distortions in society in general: is society working under the same rules as sport is?

The movie is written by director Arto Halonen together with Jouni K. Kemppainen and Kevin Frazier.

When Heroes Lie premieres in movie theatres on 5 October 2012.