Australian swimmer Madeline Groves has withdrawn from the Olympic trials in Adelaide, alluding to inappropriate conduct by an as-yet-unidentified figure within the sport. Writing in a tweet that this should “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”
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 https://t.co/XMQCRPjNzK— Maddie Groves (@MaddieGroves_) June 9, 2021
This is not the first time the two-time Olympic silver-medalist has spoken out about experiencing inappropriate behavior. In November 2020, she tweeted about lodging a complaint about a coach who made her uncomfortable when he stared at her in her bathing suit, and was later promoted.
Can I just say, that I definitely made a complaint a few years ago about a person that works at swimming making me feel uncomfortable the way they stare at me in my togs, and I think they’ve possibly been given a promotion since— Maddie Groves (@MaddieGroves_) November 30, 2020
Kieran Perkins, the President of Swimming Australia, said that Groves has been contacted about both the concerns she has raised, but has yet to have a conversation with the national governing body, according to The BBC. He stated that he “can certainly reassure her that claims like these are of the utmost importance to us, and providing a safe environment for all of our participants is absolutely paramount to us.”
While no longer planning on participating in the Olympics, Groves will still be participating in other swimming competitions this year.
One can expect that Groves, who frequently draws attention to a number of issues regarding women athletes, such as body shaming, transphobia, and Endo/Adenomyosis (from which she suffers), will continue to speak out.
Top Photo Credit: JD Lasica from Pleasanton, CA, US, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Natalie Frate is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Sociology and Anthropology and SOAS, University of London with an MA in Comparative Literature. She is currently pursuing a degree in Experimental Humanities at NYU and waiting out the pandemic in her hometown, Cleveland, OH. She enjoys reading books, wearing clothes, and eating food with her friends. Follow her on Instagram @natalieroseindigo