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Olympic gold medalist charged for alleged role in Capitol riot

ABC News logo ABC News 1/13/2021
A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. © Julio Rosas/Townhall Media A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller was charged for his alleged involvement in the attack on the Capitol last week.

The swimmer was charged with obstructing law enforcement engaged in official duties, unlawfully entering Capitol grounds and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

It was first speculated that Keller was involved in the riot when people began identifying a man who looked like him in a video taken by Townhall reporter Julio Rosas. The video shows a tall man seemingly wearing a U.S. Olympic Team jacket, and former teammates and coaches identified him as Keller, SwimSwam and The New York Times reported.

In the video, which was cited in the complaint against Keller, Capitol Police tussle with rioters in the Rotunda, and Keller was pushed back with the crowd by police shields.

MORE: DC protester arrested with 11 Molotov cocktails, several guns had list of 'good guys,' 'bad guys': DOJ a man holding a microphone: A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. © Julio Rosas/Townhall Media A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. a group of people in a room: A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. © Julio Rosas/Townhall Media A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

The complaint, referencing the Townhall video, notes that "Colorado state records and publicly available information list [Keller's] height at 6 feet, 6 inches tall, and [the person in the video] appears to be one of the tallest individuals in the video depicting individuals in the Rotunda."

Keller had been employed by Colorado real estate firm Hoff & Leigh, but, the firm said in a statement, he resigned this Tuesday.

"Effective immediately, Klete Keller is no longer with Hoff & Leigh. Keller, an independent contractor, resigned from the company today," the company said. "Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest but we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law. We pride ourselves on our deeply held core values of family, loyalty, community and stewardship. We continue to stand by these values."

a group of people wearing costumes: A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. © Julio Rosas/Townhall Media A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. © Julio Rosas/Townhall Media A man wearing what appears to be a U.S. Olympics jacket is seen among the crowd that breached security and entered the U.S. Capitol during violent protests on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

In response to the reports of Keller's participation in the siege, USA Swimming said in a statement, "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."

MORE: Rioter seen wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' hoodie during Capitol siege arrested

Before the charge was made against Keller, U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland sent a letter to Team USA athletes condemning the "rioters" at the Capitol.

"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," Hirshland wrote. "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. I urge everyone associated with Team USA to continue to celebrate our diversity of background and beliefs, stand together against hatred and divisiveness, and use our influence to create positive change in our community."

Klete Keller swimming in the water: Klete Keller smiles after winning the men's 4 x 200m freestyle relay swimming heat at the National Aquatics Center in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on Aug. 12, 2008. © Greg Wood/AFP via Getty Images, File Klete Keller smiles after winning the men's 4 x 200m freestyle relay swimming heat at the National Aquatics Center in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on Aug. 12, 2008.

Keller, 38, won medals at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He was on the U.S. relay team along with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Peter Vanderkaay.

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