14 January 2021 12:41
Olympic swimming champion Klete Keller has been charged over the invasion of the US Capitol by a pro-Donald Trump mob last week. The 38-year-old won two relay gold medals as a teammate of Michael Phelps at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Charges of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in the Capitol building and impeding law enforcement were filed against Keller in a Washington DC court on Wednesday. Olympic Champion Klete Keller Appears to Have Been in US Capitol During Insurrection - pic.twitter.com/9b0zwbLXCH — Swimming World (@SwimmingWorld) January 12, 2021 A number of people who saw videos of the Capitol invasion identified a tall man in a US Olympic team jacket as the 6ft 6in Keller. "We respect private individuals' and groups' rights to peacefully protest but in no way condone the actions taken by those at the Capitol last week," a spokesperson for USA Swimming told the Guardian on Wednesday, before the charges against Keller were announced.
The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland did not name Keller in a statement released on Wednesday, in which she condemned the Capitol violence. "As many of you know, there are reports of an alumni Olympic athlete involved in the horrific acts at the US Capitol building last week," read the statement. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Klete Keller (pictured in his ID photo) was charged on Wednesday with participating in last week's Capitol riots A US Olympic gold medalist swimmer who was spotted at the deadly Capitol riots last week has been charged with participating in the violent insurrection. Klete Keller, who won two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was charged in a federal court in D.C. on Wednesday, court records show. The 38-year-old is accused of obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to a criminal complaint.
They do not represent the values of the United States of America or of Team USA,' USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said. Keller is a five-times Olympic medalist who held off Australian great Ian Thorpe on the anchor leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2004 Athens Games to win gold for the United States. Keller is seen winning the 4 x 200m freestyle relay swimming heat at 2008 Beijing Olympics According to the New York Times, Keller has deleted his social media accounts, several of which the publication said had included a stream of pro-Trump messaging in recent years. Gold (circled) can be seen inside the Capitol during Wednesday's riots, which killed five people She confirmed to The Washington Post that she is the person pictured carrying a bullhorn on the Capitol grounds, but said she thought the building was open, and intended to be there to make a speech. Gold said she was worried that photos of her inside the Capitol would distract from her advocacy work with America's Frontline Doctors.
Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, released a statement before the charges were filed saying the organization will determine whether any action should be taken. "First off, I strongly condemn the actions of the rioters at the U.S. Capitol," she said in a statement on Twitter, saying they contradict the committee's values. "At home, and around the world, Team USA athletes are held to a very high standard as they represent our country on the field of play and off," she said. USA Swimming said, "We respect private individuals' and groups' rights to peacefully protest but in no way condone the actions taken by those at the Capitol last week." "Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest but we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law," it said in a statement. The acting U.S. attorney in Washington, Mike Sherwin, said last week that 55 people had been charged in connection with the riot with various offenses, including unlawful entry, assault, theft and weapons charges. (CNN) Klete Keller, who won five Olympic swimming medals, including two relay golds, was charged Wednesday for his alleged participation in the Capitol riot last week, according to court documents. Keller was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstructing law enforcement engaged in official duties incident to civil disorder, according to documents filed in US District Court in Washington, DC. An FBI screenshot of video from the Capitol Rotunda on January 6 showed Keller in the crowd that stormed the building. He is best known for anchoring the winning US team in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, in which he held off gold medalist Ian Thorpe of Australia. An Olympic gold medalist was arrested for taking part in the Capitol riots after his Team USA jacket was spotted in the crowd. Former swimming star Klete Keller now faces federal charges after he was seen inside the Capitol Building and identified by investigators by his Olympic gear. Keller, 38, faces charges of obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. They do not represent the values of the United States of America or of Team USA," said Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.