The court of public opinion can impose as brutal an ordeal on organizations and individuals as any court of law. When the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) first began pursuing bicycling global star Lance Armstrong on alleged use of illegal performance enhancements, its reputation was in play. Was this institution being over-zealous in its policing of sports or was it even trying to establish a high profile through focusing on a powerful brandname in sports.
During the early stages of its investigation, the reputation of Armstrong held up fairly well. Not only was he a hero. He also had triumphed over cancer.
As we know, there's been a shift in opinion. The media are competing with one another in presenting interviews with those who badmouth Armstrong. There could be more respect for the mission of the USADA now that it has issued its 202-page report detailing its investigation and it findings. Here you can read it.
It might be easy to rejoice, as we did with Watergate, that "the system worked." But it still is emotionally wrenching to realize that such abuses had been taking place.