A huge doping scandal erupted at the 2001 cross-country skiing world championship in Lahti, Finland, leading to large numbers of disqualifications. Athletes from the host country in particular had made generous use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. It was to be the precursor of more drug cases at the Winter Olympics a year later in Salt Lake City. When Heroes Lie analyzes the history of doping from the 1970s to the present day, using archive footage and interviews with skiers, coaches and experts. Director Arto Halonen conducted extensive research into the global doping culture in top-class athletics. He explores how our society, where success systematically prevails over morals, lays the foundation for a hypocritical attitude in the pursuit of triumph. The people want champions and heroism, but close their eyes to the world behind the international stage - that shadowy world that sets the conditions for hero status. But when there's official confirmation of something that anybody with any common sense could have known all along, the moral outrage is immense. This touches on a wider problem in our society: cheating is the rule rather than the exception when it comes to achieving our sacred goals. But nobody seems to mind, as long as it doesn't come to light.