The last few years premium channel EPIX has stirred the pot with a series of sports-related shows designed to create conversations about topics that transcend, but involve sport. There was “Forgotten Four,” the story of the first African American athletes to break the NFL color barrier the year before Jackie Robinson broke it in baseball, and “SCHOOLED: The Price of College Sports,” which ignited the issues on whether or not college athletes should be compensated, as well as last year’s “Road To The Winter Classic” and “Road To The Stadium Series,” which took fans deeper inside the NHL than has been seen in several years.
Now the channel is back in the sports documentary business this fall, with “Doped: The Dirty Side of Sports,” which will debut September 30 at 8 p.m.
Like “Schooled,” the film is executive produced by Bobby Valentine and produced and directed by Andrew J. Muscato and will look at the global issue of PED’s more from the perspective of the struggling athlete than ever before.
Interviewed are record-setting 2015 World Championship bronze medalist and 2016 United States Olympic sprint sensation Tori Bowie, track coach Philippe DeRosier, former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi and shot put champion Adam Nelson, who claimed his rightfully-earned 2004 Olympics gold medal after a retroactive testing of his Ukrainian competitor confirmed the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
According to a press release, the show will touch on popular subjects like PED’s in baseball, but the bulk of the project will look at organizations like WADA and USADA and the way they do, or don’t keep the system fair and equitable for all.
“EPIX strives to present relevant and thought-provoking programming that not only entertains but also informs,” said Mark S. Greenberg, EPIX President and CEO said in a release. “The topic of doping is a hot-button issue that continues to spark pointed conversation throughout the sports universe. This documentary offers a compelling look at the efforts to create fairness in testing, while shedding light on the surprising personal stories of everyday athletes.”
While the long-form video platform seems crowded; this week at the same time you had ESPN “30 For 30,” Showtime’s “Inside The NFL” and their new series on Notre Dame and HBO’s “Hard Knocks” airing at the same time, there is always a need for interesting storytelling around a popular topic, and that is where EPIX has spent its time in the sports space. The Muscato/Valentine combo has had a penchant for drumming up news and stirring the pot, and the bet is that they will do the same for sports and entertainment fans when the show debuts later this month.
PED’s remain a hot topic, and a unique perspective is always welcomed. A quick peek on the inequity in boxing was provided by Malignaggi, and can be seen here as well: