I've watched with interest the tarnishing of a relatively new American idol this week - Michael Phelps. It is an interesting example of how one slip can have a major ripple effect. I found it interesting that Kellogg's has positioned themselves as no longer being a sponsor did so in the same month Michael Phelps contract with them was expiring anyway. They get to promote their wholesome American values at a cost to no one but Phelps, the contract was expiring anyway. I'm sure the marketing team at Kellogg's was thrilled.
Notice that his other sponsors have not withdrawn - but then their contracts are still in place and I'm sure the a public legal case attempting to terminate a contract would be much more costly than putting their heads down and waiting out the scandal.
Do I think Michael Phelps will recover? Yes. He is one of the great Olympic athletes of our time. And 2012 is coming and I'm sure the US will rally behind him again. He's handling this well with an appropriate amount of public shame and remorse. I'm just sad that all those lovely shiny gold medals are now just tinged with a little tarnish.