SPORTS
08/15/2012 06:54 pm ET

Norway Wants U.S. Gold Medals From 1904 Over Citizenship Controversy

Norway picked up four medals at the London 2012 Olympics, good enough for an eight-way tie for 42nd place in the overall medal standings.

Overall, Norwegian Olympians have won 151 total medals since modern Olympics began in 1896, according to NBCOlympics.com.

According to sports historians Tom A. Schanke and Arild Gjerde, however, this tally may be a few gold medals short.

Per a report by Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Schanke and Gjerde have dug up evidence that shows two of the U.S. gold medals from the 1904 Olympics should belong to Norway.

Schanke and Gjerde discovered documentation that shows wrestlers Charles Ericksen and Bernhoff Hansen were still Norwegian citizens when won gold medals for the United States in wrestling at the St. Louis Games. Per the report, Ericksen became a U.S. citizen the year after the 1904 Olympics and Bernhoff may have never even become an American citizen.

According to The Local, a transfer of the medals by the International Olympics Committee would increase Norway's gold medal count in the Summer Olympics from 58 to 60.

While doping is the type of cheating that draws the most attention and a group of top-ranked badminton players were disqualified for intentionally trying to lose matches, citizenship is another topic of sporadic controversy as nations look to import top talent to improve their medal haul. While it's not unusual for an Olympian to compete for a nation other than his birth country (like Dream Team member Patrick Ewing, born in Jamaica) there are occasional controversies over citizenship (like South African middle distance runner Zola Budd being granted UK citizenship ahead of the 1984 Games).

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