Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov lives in hiding, fears for his life; Icarus director Bryan Fogel says 'I haven’t seen, had contact with him in over a year'
"[The] Kremlin wants me to stop talking," Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower chemist featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary Icarus, tells 60 Minutes in an interview airing Sunday night. "There is information that my life is in danger."
Rodchenkov disguised his appearance -- his hair dyed and his mustache shaved off -- for the segment, the first time he has spoken on camera since he revealed Russia's vast state-sponsored athletics doping program to Icarus director Bryan Fogel.
Rodchenkov lives in hiding in the U.S., having fled here with Fogel's help after Russian authorities became aware he might blow the lid off the doping scandal.
He tells 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley Russian agents could try to assassinate him: "Yes, yes. Even on U.S. soil.".
As detailed in Icarus, Rodchenkov ran Russia's accredited anti-doping lab for years, but secretly helped athletes dope and avoid detection on drug screening tests. The scheme culminated with an elaborate effort that allowed numerous Russian athletes to take performance-enhancing drugs including steroids throughout the 2014 Winter Olympic Games held in Sochi, Russia.
In the film Rodchenkov says the order to cheat, and boost the performance of Russia's Olympic athletes, came directly from the Kremlin -- from President Vladimir Putin through his Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sport, Vitaly Mutko.
Rodchenkov's revelations in Icarus played the key role in convincing the International Olympic Committee to formally ban Russia from participating in the 2018 Winter Games now underway in South Korea. Dozens of Russian athletes, however, have been permitted to participate, but under a neutral flag.
Rodchenkov tells 60 Minutes plenty of other countries continue to cheat the doping system.
"Twenty plus," he says. "For sure."
Fogel took to Twitter to urge people to watch the 60 Minutes report. In his tweet he noted, "I haven't seen, had contact with [Grigory] in over a year."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.