This happens in organizations that have technical staff and management staff mixed together in the same evaluation pool.
Both groups need to be evaluated on different criteria and not compete for the same positions in the organization.
That said, I know I have been held back because someone with better people skills than me was actively sabotaging my accomplishments. When I found out (BCCed by someone who had integrity) I left the organization and did much better at the new company than the old.
I have since sharpened my people skills to at least recognized that sort of undermining and counter it rather than try to be like them.
The only way I have found to beat them at their own game is to be impeccably honest and have the reputation and integrity that their backstabbing is immediately clear for what it is.