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Sports Olympic gold-medal swimmer Klete Keller charged in connection with U.S. Capitol riot

19:50  14 january  2021
19:50  14 january  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Former U.S. swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller is facing criminal charges after law enforcement officers identified him as one of the people who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol during a riot last week.

According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, the 38-year-old Keller has been charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Klete Keller in a pool of water: Klete Keller looks at the clock, confirming he won bronze with a time of 3:44.11 in the men's 400-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. © Eileen Blass, USA TODAY Klete Keller looks at the clock, confirming he won bronze with a time of 3:44.11 in the men's 400-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

An FBI agent wrote in a criminal complaint that he was able to identify Keller, who is 6-foot-6, in part because of his height. The agent also noted the Team USA jacket that Keller, a three-time Olympian, wore during the riot.

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"PERSON 1 can be seen standing in the Rotunda still wearing the dark colored USA jacket, which also appears to bear a Nike logo on the front right side and a red and white Olympic patch on the front left side," the agent wrote in the complaint.

Court records did not immediately list an attorney for Keller, and it was unclear as of Wednesday afternoon if he had turned himself in to authorities.

Keller won five medals in three Olympic appearances for the United States, including gold medals at the 2004 Games in Athens and 2008 Games in Beijing.

Keller was first identified as one of the rioters by multiple media outlets, including SwimSwam, an outlet that covers swimming.

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Sarah Hirshland, the CEO of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, released a statement about the reports earlier Wednesday, though she did not refer to Keller by name. She said the USOPC would wait for law enforcement to confirm the identity of the individual "and then evaluate any appropriate actions of our own."

"I strongly condemn the actions of the rioters at the U.S. Capitol. They do not represent the values of the United States of America or of Team USA," Hirshland said in the statement.

"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. What happened in Washington, D.C., was a case where that standard was clearly not met. The people involved attacked the very fabric of the democracy we all proudly represent and, in turn, also let our community down."

Keller most recently worked for Hoff & Leigh, a real estate company, in Colorado. The company said in a statement Tuesday that Keller, an independent contractor, was no longer employed there.

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Contributing: Rachel Axon; The Arizona Republic

Contact Tom Schad at tschad@usatoday.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Olympic gold-medal swimmer Klete Keller charged in connection with U.S. Capitol riot

charge after Capitol storm: Olympic champion cries bitterly .
Klete Keller becomes aware of the extent of his participation in the storm on the Capitol. He tearfully apologizes to his former coach. © Provided by sport1.de charges after Capitol storm: Olympic champion cries bitterly Klete Keller has been charged after participating in the storm on the US Capitol in Washington. The Olympic champion of 2004 and 2008 is threatened with a heavy fine and even a prison sentence. Now he has tearfully apologized to his former coaches.

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