Australian swimmer Madeline Groves announced she’d be withdrawing from Australia’s swimming trials for the upcoming Tokyo Games and said “misogynistic perverts in sport” were to blame.
The two-time Olympic silver medalist posted a note on Instagram, telling fans that she would not be taking part in the Olympic Trials in Adelaide, which start this weekend. she also added that she felt “so grateful to feel so supported in this decision” and “very relieved.”
In a separate Twitter post, Groves added a further note as to why she’s skipping this year’s Olympic Trials: “Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers ― 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. Time’s UP.”
The 26-year-old’s remarks follow complaints she shared on Twitter in November and December 2020. Groves explained a situation where a “well known coach” talked to her in a “creepy af voice” and then later apologized to her because “the team psych told him to.”
In another series of tweets, Groves talked about a man staring at her in her bathing suit and making her uncomfortable.
Swimming Australia, the sport’s national governing body, later released a statement in response to Groves’ claims that said: “Swimming Australia reached out to Maddie in December 2020 to enquire about a tweet sent by her that referenced potential abuse by someone connected with swimming.”
The statement continued: “Maddie declined to provide further information, nor do we have any previous complaints on record from Maddie. All allegations concerning child abuse or sexual misconduct are taken seriously by Swimming Australia. We consider the welfare, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as paramount, and we have a duty to make inquiries to uphold the standards of our sport.”