With seven gold medals under its belt, the 1972 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team probably expected an easy win over the Soviet Union in the Munich Olympics. Not so — the Americans trailed their Cold War rivals until very end when they inched ahead by a single point. With a second left in the game, a disputed Soviet time-out forced the refs to reset the clock. Time ran out and the U.S. won. But then the clock was reset again — for reasons still disputed by sports fans today. Essentially given three opportunities, the Soviets managed to score a basket and take the gold. “We couldn’t believe that they were giving them all these chances,” U.S. forward Mike Bantom said at the time. “It was like they were going to let them do it until they got it right.” In protest, the American team refused the silver medal; their awards remain unclaimed in a Swiss vault.
A Brief History of Olympic Sore Losers
Russia's Evegni Plushenko believes he deserved the men's figure-skating gold medal instead of silver at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. In honor of his poor sportsmanship, TIME takes a look at other Olympic complainers