Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yes, I believe Tyler

If you are in public relations, media relations or any other marketing title you choose, one thing you should be fairly good at is reading people. We might not always be right, but we should be more right than wrong. Reading people is part of the job. You need to know your audience and read their reactions to know what is working for your company or client and what isn't.

For the most part, I think, I'm pretty good at reading people. Maybe it is that psychology minor I had in college. Sure, I've made my mistakes - who hasn't? - but I've been more right than wrong. One person I'm fairly certain I have a good read on is cyclist Tyler Hamilton. Another is his wife, Haven.

Here is where this post becomes more personal than marketing related, but that is my choice for today. As some of you know, Tyler was accused of blood doping almost a year and a half ago. From the minute the shock wore off Tyler declared his innocence and he and his wife have been fighting for his career, but more importantly to clear his good name, ever since. The fight continued this week when The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reconvened to hear more evidence in the case (No, I do not know what happened there).

Now, I'm not a medical expert. I will fully admit that I have no idea what blood levels are supposed to be or not. But, do you know what? I don't need to know. Tyler told me he didn't this and I believe him.

Why are we so quick to believe a lab test over a person? There are false positives in lab tests all the time. Are we so jaded that we think 'all athletes' are cheaters? In the U.S. anyway you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, yet that isn't what happened in this case. A test was allegedly 'tainted' and Tyler was guilty. No trial. No immediate retest, even at his insistence. Just guilty - end of story. C'mon, every day in the news you see "alleged" criminals that are given more of a fair shake than Tyler's received. Before his first hearing he was guilty by many. I find that sad. For Tyler and for sports, in general.

I've had the good fortune to know Tyler for several years, and Haven even longer. These are good, honest people and I believe them without doubt. Not because of any experts they brought out to help them prove Tyler's claim, but almost in spite of it. I still want to believe that most people are good and most people do tell the truth and that not everyone is 'out to get you' or 'pull one over on you'. Maybe that is being gullible, but this man looked me in the eye and told me he didn't do this. Good enough for me.

This is just my opinion and I know there are many out there who do not share the same one. That's ok; it is what makes the world go 'round. This is just my way of 'shouting from the rooftops' that I believe in my friends.

On a very similar subject, I was extremely happy to see this come out from CAS this week. Bravo!

Just a personal tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

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