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Olympic swimmer Klete Keller faces new charges over Capitol riots

image copyrightReuters

image captionKlete Keller, seen here in a court sketch, has not commented publicly on the charges against him

Klete Keller, a two-time Olympics gold medallist swimmer, is facing new charges in connection with the 6 January riots at the US Capitol.

The 6ft 6in (1.9m) tall swimmer was identified in photos of the riots because of his stature and the fact he was wearing a Team USA jacket.

He was initially charged with three counts, but this was increased to seven by a grand jury earlier in the week.

Mr Keller has not commented on the charges against him.

The 38-year-old champion was first charged, a week after the riots, with knowingly entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct in the Capitol building and impeding law enforcement.

At the time of charging him, the US District Court in Washington was shown screenshots of videos and photos posted on social media that showed Mr Keller standing in the Capitol’s Rotunda with a group of Donald Trump’s supporters.

The crowd were pushing against police officers, although there was no suggestion the swimmer was participating in any of the violent acts seen on the day.

image copyrightAFP

image captionKlete Keller was one of the US team’s gold medal winners at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Like many others charged over the riots, prosecutors asked for his case to be considered by a grand jury, the Washington Post reports.

They returned a new indictment with seven charges, which also include civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. The new charges carry a maximum sentence of nearly 30 years, the Post reports.

Klete Keller is best known for helping the US swimming team win gold in the 2×400 freestyle relay at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

media captionThe terror of being trapped in the US Capitol – three eyewitness accounts of politicians

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