American Klete Keller, who won two Olympic gold medals as a relay teammate of Michael Phelps, was identified as being among Donald Trump’s supporters inside the US Capitol last week, according to several reports.
Swimming news site SwimSwam claimed in a report that at least a dozen people in the sport identified the towering man wearing an American Olympic team jacket inside the building as Keller after reviewing video and screenshots of the uprising.
USA Swimming did not respond when asked if they could confirm whether Keller was part of the crowd that entered the legislative complex when lawmakers began certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s November 3 election victory over Trump.
Reuters’ attempt to reach Keller failed.
A woman who answered the phone to the Colorado and Ohio-based real estate agent where Keller works told Reuters, “We are not commenting on anything right now,” and then hung up.
In one of the videos, which was taken by a reporter from the conservative news equipment Townhall, a man identified as Keller is seen among the crowds that police officers are trying to push towards the American Capitol exits.
Keller is a five-time Olympic medalist who held the Australian big Ian Thorpe on the anchor leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay at the Athens Games in 2004 to win gold for the United States.
Swimming World also claimed that it was confirmed by sources that Keller was seen on the US Capitol, adding that the videos show no violence from the 38-year-old side. The Guardian has not been able to independently verify that the person in the videos was Keller.
According to the New York Times, Keller has deleted his social media accounts, several of which, according to the publication, had included a stream of Trump messages in recent years.
Trump urged thousands of supporters to march toward the Capitol last Wednesday, leading to chaos as crowds broke into the building and forced the evacuation of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
Five people, including a police officer, died as a result of the violence.