Klete Keller: who is the Olympian reported to have stormed the Capitol building - and could he lose his medals?

Many US swimmers reportedly identified him in Capitol riots footage

The riots which ensued at the Capitol Building, Washington D.C., on 6 January resulted in five deaths and a lockdown of the American capital city.

Many protesters have been identified as far-right supporters and some Republican politicians have also been spotted in footage. US Olympian Klete Keller is also thought to have been involved.

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The four-time Olympic medalist, who represented the US in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 competitions has been identified in footage of the riots.

Olympian Klete Keller was spotted wearing his team USA Olympics jacket at the riots (Picture: Getty Images/Twitter)
Olympian Klete Keller was spotted wearing his team USA Olympics jacket at the riots (Picture: Getty Images/Twitter)

This is what we know so far.

Who is Klete Keller?

38-year-old Keller is best known for winning two Olympic gold medals.

In the Athens 2004 games, he held off Australia's Ian Thorpe to help his relay team - , including teammates Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay - secure gold.

Following his swimming career, in 2014 Keller divorced his wife and became homeless - misplacing his gold medals.

Keller later returned to his studies and achieved a degree in Construction Management.

He said in a 2018 interview that he had made a “personal comeback”, and now lives in Colorado Springs, where he works as an independent contractor with the real estate firm Hoff & Leigh.

The Olympian posted a number of pro-Trump messages on his social media accounts, including one showing him attending a Boston Trump event in 2017.

He has deleted his social media accounts following allegations he attended the Capitol riots.

What involvement did Keller have in the Capitol riots?

Footage from 6 January shows Keller unmasked, dressed with his Olympics team jacket on, in the Capitol’s rotunda.

In the video shared by right wing website, Townhall, the crowd clashes with officers.

A police officer has since died from injuries sustained in the riots though it has not been confirmed at what stage during the riots he was injured.

The video has since gone viral on Twitter, and it would appear that Keller features around 12 seconds in.

He is not filmed being aggressive towards officers, but does appear to be part of the large crowd as some many fight with police.

SwimSwam, a swimming news website, has reported that at least 12 people within the sport identified him from the footage.

Has Keller responded to the allegations?

Keller has not responded to the identification of him in the Capitol’s rotunda.

However, a USA Swimming spokesperson 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.”

Meanwhile, Reuters’ attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. However, a receptionist who answered the phone at his workplace told a Reuters reporter “we are not commenting on anything right now” and then hung up.

What action could be taken against Klete Keller?

Legal action is currently being taken against many of those identified as taking part in the riots, therefore if it is confirmed that Keller was present then he too could face charges.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) could also strip him of his medals, though since he has already misplaced them, this could prove difficult.

The IOC tends to remove medals from Olympians who have been involved in doping - taking drugs which could be considered performance enhancing - but it has not been unheard of for Olympians to be stripped of their achievements for committing crimes.