Five-time Olympic swimming medallist Klete Keller was charged Wednesday with taking part in a lethal riot on the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to indicate him amongst these storming the constructing final week.
An FBI grievance filed in U.S. District Court, citing screenshots from the video, requested a warrant charging Keller with knowingly getting into a restricted constructing to impede an official authorities operate, disorderly conduct, and obstructing regulation officers in the course of the scary ordeal.
It wasn’t clear if he had been taken into custody.
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol throughout a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 whereas lawmakers met to formalize the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
The 38-year-old Keller competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. He captured two golds and a silver as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay, in addition to a pair of particular person bronzes in the 400 free.
Messages looking for remark weren’t returned by Keller or his sister, former Olympic swimmer Kalyn Keller.
“We respect non-public people’ and teams’ rights to peacefully protest however in no means condone the actions taken by these on the Capitol final week,” USA Swimming stated in an announcement, noting that Keller has not been a member of the group since he retired after the 2008 Beijing Games.
Keller’s alleged participation in the Capitol protest was first reported this week by SwimSwam, a web site devoted to protecting aggressive swimming and different aquatic sports activities.
Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Klete Keller charged after regulation enforcement ID’d him as a result of he is “6 toes, 6 inches tall,” and was maskless whereas rioting. <a href=”https://t.co/2duVYPjGd0″>https://t.co/2duVYPjGd0</a> <a href=”https://t.co/R1su9SJRii”>pic.twitter.com/R1su9SJRii</a>
It pointed to video posted to social media by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas, which confirmed a tall man carrying a U.S. Olympic crew jacket among the many rioters as officers tried to clear the Rotunda.
SwimSwam stated no less than a dozen individuals throughout the sport have recognized the person as Keller after reviewing the video and screenshots.
The FBI affidavit particularly cited screenshots that present the individual recognized as Keller carrying the distinctive jacket.
It additionally famous that the previous swimmer is listed as 6-foot-6, and the individual in the video “seems to be one of many tallest people in the video depicting people in the Rotunda.”
Trump supporters fought again after Capitol Police moved in to retake the Rotunda. <a href=”https://t.co/4e7mNyqWZy”>pic.twitter.com/4e7mNyqWZy</a>
Keller educated for a number of years beneath coach Bob Bowman, who’s greatest often called the longtime coach and mentor of Michael Phelps, winner of probably the most gold medals in Olympic historical past.
Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, denounced the melee that left 5 individuals useless.
“I strongly condemn the actions of the rioters on the U.S. Capitol,” she stated in an announcement. “They don’t symbolize the values of the United States of America or of Team USA.”
Hirshland went on to say, “At house, and world wide, Team USA athletes are held to a really excessive customary as they symbolize our nation on the sector of play and off. What occurred in Washington, D.C., was a case the place that customary was clearly not met. The individuals concerned attacked the very cloth of the democracy all of us proudly symbolize and, in flip, additionally let our group down. I urge everybody related to Team USA to proceed to rejoice our variety of background and beliefs, stand collectively towards hatred and divisiveness, and use our affect to create constructive change in our group.”
Keller’s athletic achievements are unlikely to be affected by the fees, although he could possibly be shunned by USA Swimming and the USOPC at promotional occasions and different capabilities that includes former Olympians.
The International Olympic Committee has solely stripped medals from athletes who violated doping guidelines or different rules throughout competitors.
Keller, who grew up in Arizona, was working in Colorado as an unbiased contractor for actual property agency Hoff & Leigh, which stated on its web site that he suggested “industrial landlords and sellers on maximizing the worth of their industrial asset.”
Hoff & Leigh launched an announcement to SwimSwam on Tuesday saying Keller has resigned.
“Hoff & Leigh helps the proper of free speech and lawful protest,” the corporate stated. “But we can’t condone actions that violate the rule of regulation.”
Struggled after Olympics
A longtime stalwart of the U.S. nationwide crew, Keller was a member of 800 free relay groups that helped Phelps win two of his rfile 23 gold medals.
Keller anchored the profitable crew on the 2004 Athens Games, which additionally included Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay. Keller posted the quickest break up in the group.
Four years later, Keller anchored the relay in the course of the preliminaries, powering the Americans to the quickest time, however he did not compete in the ultimate. Phelps, Lochte, Ricky Berens and Vanderkaay turned in a world-record efficiency that was part of Phelps’ rfile eight gold medals in Beijing.
Keller struggled to regulate to post-Olympic life.
In interviews with the Olympic Channel podcast and USA Swimming, he admitted to being a poor worker and feeling entitled due to his athletic success. The issues carried over to his private life, which resulted in a divorce that left him dwelling in his automotive for 10 months and a lack of visitation rights that prevented him from seeing his kids for years.
He credited his household and particularly his sister for serving to him get his life again on observe.