The Week That Was: Klete Keller Charged in Federal Court; Michigan State Swimmers File Title IX Lawsuit

Klete Keller
Photo Courtesy: Bill Collins / Swimming World Archive

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Three-time US Olympian Klete Keller has dominated the news in the last week after he was identified in a video from the US Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021, where he was seen inside the US Capitol rotunda. He is facing criminal charges and up to five years in prison.

Michigan State University women’s swimmers have filed a Title IX lawsuit against the university after eliminating both the women’s and men’s swimming and diving programs, effective at the end of this 2020-21 school year.

Read below the five biggest stories in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #1: Klete Keller Charged in Federal Court For Role in US Capitol Insurrection

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Dan D’Addona

Klete Keller is facing criminal charges after law enforcement officers identified the Olympic gold medal swimmer as part of a deadly insurrection of the U.S. Capitol last week.

According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, Jan. 13, the 38-year-old three-time Olympian has been charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The charges, which include an arrest warrant, were first reported by USA Today.

An FBI agent wrote in a criminal complaint that he was able to identify the 6-foot-6 Keller, noting the Team USA jacket that Keller, a three-time Olympian, wore during the riot.

“PERSON 1 can be seen standing in the Rotunda still wearing the dark colored USA jacket, which also appears to bear a Nike logo on the front right side and a red and white Olympic patch on the front left side,” the agent wrote in the complaint.

Keller turned himself into authorities, multiple news outlets reported, after facing federal charges stemming from the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

He faces up to five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, for his felony charge, and up to one year and six months for the two misdemeanors, respectively, in addition to another quarter million fine attached to each. Keller’s court hearing also noted that he could face additional charges from a grand jury, according to CBS Sports.

USA Swimming released this statement:

“Since first learning of Mr. Keller’s possible involvement in the events of January 6, and awaiting official confirmation or charges by law enforcement, we made it very clear in responses to the media that, while we respect private individuals’ and groups’ rights to peacefully protest, we strongly condemned the unlawful actions taken by those at the Capitol last week. It is very simple and very clear. Mr. Keller’s actions in no way represent the values or mission of USA Swimming. And while once a swimmer at the highest levels of our sport – representing the country and democracy he so willfully attacked – Mr. Keller has not been a member of this organization since 2008.

“We stand with Team USA and echo their plea to celebrate our diversity of background and beliefs, stand together against hatred and divisiveness, and use our influence to create positive change in our communities.”

#2: Michigan State University Women’s Swimmers File Lawsuit Against University

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Photo Courtesy: Michigan State Athletics

By Andy Ross

Eleven Michigan State women’s swimmers have filed a lawsuit against the University for the elimination of the swimming and diving program in October.

Full court document

Michigan State swimmers Sophia BalowAva BoutrousJulia CoffmanKylie GoitEmma InchSheridan PhalenMadeline ReillyOlivia StarzomskiSarah ZofchakTaylor Arnold and Elise Turke were named as plaintiffs in the case, against Michigan State University, the Board of Trustees, President Samuel L. Stanley, and Athletic Director Bill Beekman, who are named as the defendants.

The case alleges that Michigan State University will “compound its historic Title IX wrongs at the end of 2021, when it terminates the 38-member women’s varsity swimming and diving team, and with it, MSU terminates all opportunities for women to compete in intercollegiate varsity swimming and diving at the university.”

The Week That Was #3: Bill Wadley Resigns As ASCA Executive Director

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Photo Courtesy: Ohio State University Athletics

By Andy Ross

Bill Wadley is no longer the executive director of the American Swimming Coaches Association, sources have confirmed to Swimming World. The ASCA had a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Wadley from which he resigned.

“The hard working staff at ASCA is doing a phenomenal job,” ASCA Board Chair Mike Koleber told Swimming World. “They are committed to the core. The production and delivery of valuable and relevant coaching resources have never been better. We’re plowing forward for the Coaches of ASCA and we continue to be optimistic for the future.”

Bill Wadley had retired as head coach at Ohio State in March 2017 where he coached 16 Olympians, 30 Big Ten Champions, and was named 2010 Big Ten Coach of the Year. He was named executive director of ASCA in October 2020, taking over for Steve Roush, who held the title for less than a year, and is now the project manager for the 65-year-old organization. Roush was hired at ASCA in July 2019, succeeding John Leonard who had held the position for 35 years.

“Bill is a friend and someone I am very fond of,” ASCA Executive Committee member Mark Schubert told Swimming World. “He denies all insinuations. My vote was for the future and reputation of ASCA. A sad day in my opinion.”

#4: Court of Arbitration For Sport Blasts Russia, Justifies Halving Ban As Full Ruling Is Published

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Liz Byrnes

The Court of Arbitration for Sport accused Russia of engaging in “a cover up of the cover up” while also justifying its decision to reduce the country’s ban from major sporting events from four years to two.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) had appealed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decision to impose a four-year suspension in December 2019 following the state-sponsored doping scandal involving the manipulation of data.

While CAS upheld the ban they halved it to two years in their ruling last month meaning they will still miss the Tokyo Olympics and Beijing Winter Games before being reinstated on 16 December 2022.

The 186-page decision was made public on Thursday with CAS denouncing Russia and reiterating the methods used by the authorities to keep changing, deleting and manipulating the data even after they had agreed to hand it over to WADA in its original form.

The panel concluded:

“It will never be possible to know the number of cheating athletes or officials who may have escaped detection.

“The manipulations show that the Russian authorities remain as willing as ever to interfere with, and corrupt, the anti-doping system.”

The Week That Was #5: Manchester Aquatics Center, Home of 02 Commonwealth Games & 09 Duel in the Pool, Needs Funds or May ‘Wither & Die’

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Photo Courtesy: Better.org.uk

By Liz Byrnes

Manchester Aquatics Centre – where Ian Thorpe went 3:40.08 over 400 free among a six-strong gold-medal haul at the 2002 Commonwealth Games – needs £31million ($42.3million) of investment in order to survive.

The facility in Manchester in the north-west of England is home to the British Para-Swimming national performance centre and has staged several national championships and the 2009 Duel in the Pool.

It is well remembered as the place where Thorpe set the 400 world record which stood for seven years before being eclipsed by Paul Biedermann‘s super-suited performance at the 2009 World Championships where the German cut 0.01 for a mark of 3:40.07 that still stands today.

It opened in 2000 but, according to Manchester City Council, two decades of intensive use has resulted in “a number of mechanical and electrical failures” with parts of the building approaching “the end of their natural lifespans.”

A document from the council says: “The pool treatment plan and pool lighting both need replacing, as do the moveable floors. Heating and electrical systems must be upgraded, lifts require refurbishing and the spa facility also needs to be replaced.”

It has been established that it will cost almost £31million to address the issues, refurbish the building and incorporate green technologies for the centre to reduce its carbon footprint.

Without significant investment, this would result in an increasing number of unplanned closures, cause the withdrawal of some services and make permanent closure of the flagship facility a serious threat.

Councillors have been asked to back an investment plan, stating that:

“Without significant investment, this would result in an increasing number of unplanned closures, cause the withdrawal of some services and make permanent closure of the flagship facility a serious threat.”

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