Swimming Australia (SA) has called on Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves to come forward with more details of her concerns about an unnamed person working in the sport, after her decision to quit this weekend’s Olympic trials.
- Groves alleged there were “misogynistic perverts” in swimming, as she withdrew from Olympic trials
- She had tweeted last year that she had complained about a swimming worker and the way “they stare at me in my togs”
- Swimming Australia president Kieren Perkins said the organisation had tried to make contact with Groves this week
SA president Kieren Perkins told the ABC Groves’s allegations were “very concerning” to the organisation.
“We have had an ongoing dialogue that has been generated by Maddie through social media, we reached out with her in September 2020 to try to engage with her on these concerns she has,” Perkins said.
“We certainly encourage you to do that because this is one of the most significant issues and challenges that we [have].
“All sports have to make sure their athletes are well supported and protected in their environment, and unfortunately we have just not been able to do that, because Maddie hasn’t engaged with us directly yet.”
Groves, a dual silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, announced her withdrawal from the trials on Instagram on Wednesday night.
The trials begin in Adelaide on Saturday.
Groves followed up her announcement on Thursday morning on Twitter, saying she would not stand for female swimmers being exploited.
“Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their bootlickers,” Groves tweeted.
“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.
In a follow-up tweet, Groves said she was deleting her social media app “for the moment”.
Speaking in Adelaide, Paralympian Lakeisha Patterson said it was unfortunate Groves was not able to be there to compete, and that it was a “tough situation”.
“I personally don’t understand what she’s facing but obviously we wish everybody could be here and unfortunately we’re not able to,” she said.
“In terms of Maddie I’m not 100 per cent sure with her story but if anybody has any complaints I would urge them to contact Swimming Australia,” Patterson said.