I'm a little younger, but I do remember catching a glimpse of the honors going to Ben Plucknett back in '81, in an old T&FN on a friend's bookshelf a few yrs back.
Of course to their 'credit' - the editors justified the decision by saying something to the effect that he had a great season before his positive test came in and "we all know that the Europeans are cheating!"
After reading that, it became apparent to me that T&FN (at least back then), was not as neutral about some issues as most would believe. I am pleased to know that they take the stand that they do today and hope that they remain as impartial as they can on these issues.
I do appreciate that they are an American organization with great American interests. Of course, they may argue that even the 'Bible' has a favorite country (Israel), hence their role in playing favorites with American athletes from time to time would not be unprecedented. Afterall, aren't they "The Bible of the Sport since 1948"?
Also, I hope that as it becomes more evident of the underlying drug infrastructure in some circles of the sport, that staff writers and editors- in the interest of the sport and not just national interest- seek to ask the tough questions and print the tough articles which ought to be voiced. Afterall, isn't the Bible supposed to contain 'TRUTH' as a primary source of light in a dark world?