Champion swimmer Maddie Groves is seen for the first time since sensationally pulling out of the Olympics in protest of ‘misogynistic perverts’ in Australian swimming
- Maddie Groves was seen for the first time since withdrawing from Olympic trials
- As teammates competed for Olympic spot, Groves remained home in Brisbane
- She made bombshell abuse and sexism claims that rocked Australian swimming
- Has since agreed to meet with Swimming Australia officials about her claims
Australian swimming star Maddie Groves has been spotted for the first time since her dramatic withdrawal from the Olympic trials amid bombshell sexism allegations which sent shockwaves through the sport.
The dual Olympic silver medallist sparked controversy last week when she pulled out of the Australian qualifiers for next month’s Games in Tokyo, calling out ‘misogynistic perverts’ and their ‘boot lickers’ she claims are running the sport.
Groves, 26, was due to compete in the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle events at the national trials which ended in Adelaide on Thursday night.
But she remains in her hometown Brisbane, where she was spotted for the first time a week after her explosive claims posted on social media rocked the sport.
Sporting a long black dress, Groves was seen outside her home looking downcast as she took her dog for a walk earlier this week.
Maddie Groves was spotted outside her home in Brisbane, a week after she controversially withdrew from the Olympic trials
A downcast Maddie Groves looked somber as she took her dog for a walk in Brisbane this week
First being seen barefoot, she later put on shoes and a green jacket and was seen leaving her home to be driven into the city.
Swimming Australia president Kieren Perkins claimed on Friday the sporting body had tried without success to contact Groves about the complaints she first aired on social media in November.
Groves has since agreed to sit down and speak to Swimming Australia officials about the allege abuse she has experienced.
Claiming the sport is run by misogynists, the swimmer posted she felt ‘supported’ in her decision and vowed to return to racing later in 2021.
‘You can no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus,’ she posted last Wednesday.
Maddie Groves (pictured leaving her home this week) plans to meet with Swimming Australia officials
Maddie Groves (pictured with her silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio) will not compete in Tokyo next month
‘Make them pervs quake in fear from the number of people supporting a statement that threatens their existence.’
Her claims prompted former elite swimmer turned academic Dr Jenny McMahon the lid on the ‘toxic and dysfunctional’ culture in Australian swimming that has left athletes psychologically damaged after years of humiliating abuse.
The 1990 Commonwealth Games gold medallist described the culture in Australian swimming as patriarchal, male-dominated and dysfunctional as she opened up about her findings from interviews with hundreds of swimmers and coaches over the past 14 years.
Maddie Groves (pictured) withdrew from the upcoming Olympic Games last week, issuing a series of furious statements, including one directed at ‘misogynistic perverts’
Former Swimming Australia chief executive Leigh Russell has also expressed her disappointment with aspects of the male-dominated sport.
‘The only people who don’t believe there’s a problem are those benefiting from the system as it is,’ Russell tweeted this week.
‘Those in charge of sport (men) have long focused on fixing women to fit. It is indeed a broken boys club and there will be no genuine cultural integrity in sport until the system is fixed, not women.’
Groves was crowned the national champion at the Australian Swimming Championship in the 200m butterfly for four consecutive years from 2013.
In 2016, she was selected to represent Australia in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, taking out the Silver for the 200m butterfly racing event.
The 35-member swimming squad that will represent Australia in the pool in Tokyo next month was announced on Thursday night.
Maddie Groves (pictured) vowed to return to competitive swimming later in 2021