OLYMPIC swimming gold medalist Klete Keller has been charged after he was identified as part of the mob that stormed the US Capitol in Washington, DC, last week.
The swimmer, 38, who won gold twice, was easily recognized in footage of the riots as he was wearing a “Team USA” jacket and is 6-feet-6.
He was charged on Wednesday with obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The Olympian competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 games and has a total of five medals. He is a former teammate of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
At least a dozen people inside the swimming world, including former teammates and coaches, identified Keller after watching footage from the riots on January 6, where Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol as Congress was certifying the 2020 presidential election.
Competitive swimming website, SwimSwam, first reported on the claims after anonymous sources had confirmed Keller’s identity to them.
The images were corroborated by Swimming World publisher and chief executive of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Brent Rutemiller who said: “That is Klete. I have confirmed.”
Keller was not witnessed engaging in any violent behavior but was seen sauntering amongst the crowd in the Capitol.
The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee released a statement on Wednesday condemning an “alumni Olympic athlete” for being involved in “the horrific acts at the US Capitol building last week,” but did not name Keller directly.
The athlete has deleted his social media accounts in the wake of his exposure, but multiple reports claim he had been open about his support for Trump on them previously.
After retiring from swimming, Keller began working as a real estate broker for Colorado based firm, Hoff & Leigh.
The company released a statement on January 12 explaining Keller had resigned, and all mentions of him have been erased from their website.
Despite his stellar swimming success beating Olympic legends such as Ian Thorpe, his 2014 divorce left Keller unemployed, homeless, and living out of his car.
He claims to not know the whereabouts of his five Olympic medals – among them two golds, one silver and two bronze.
He set the American record for the 400m freestyle in 2004 and the world record for the 800m relay in 2008. Both records have since been broken.
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Federal authorities are continuing to identify and arrest people involved in the shocking insurrection and destruction of state property.
Five people, including one police officer, died as a result of the riot.