Your competition may one day choose to attack your reputation.
Maybe he’ll use the main-stream media, maybe he’ll use a whisper campaign. Whatever.
Let him. Don’t provide him anything to press against. Don’t retaliate.
This will let you fully understand his game-plan. Once your opponent has entirely revealed himself you can construct a counter-attack.
Never, ever, acknowledge the competition. Resistance validates the attacker. By repudiating his claims you are giving him credibility.
Rather use it as an opportunity to identify who are your true allies are.
You’ll be surprised who turns up on the wrong side of the line, especially if you create the impression that you’ll go down without a fight.
Be cool. Your turn will come.