Swimming Australia Thrust Into Limelight Again For All The Wrong Reasons Following Fresh Maddie Groves Claims

GROVES COMPLAINTS: Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves has made further explosive revelations against two of Australia's leading coaches. Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Fresh Claims by Olympic Silver Medallist Maddie Groves: Swimming Australia Thrust Into Limelight Again For All The Wrong Reasons

While swimming in Australia is basking in the glory of a record breaking gold medal haul in Tokyo, it has again been forced into damage control following the latest explosive revelations in the media from Rio Olympian Maddie Groves.

The 2016 silver medallist in the 200m butterfly has accused two of the country’s leading coaches of misconduct.

Re-igniting a media firestorm following her initial allegations on the eve of this year’s Olympic Trials in June that led to the appointment of an independent panel to investigate the treatment of women and girls in the sport.

The governing body has said in a statement that it “takes all Groves’ complaints seriously taking steps to address them” with Australia’s most successful Olympic sport again thrown into the deep end.

Groves, after initially revealing her complaints on social media has followed up, lifting the lid with damning fresh claims in an exclusive interview with the ABCTV’s 7.30 report, while she was in London.

She has re-affirmed claims of a culture of “misogyny” and “perversion” in the sport with Groves also revealing that she was sexually abused from the age of 13 by a person who still works in swimming – but refraining from naming that person.

Groves elaborated on her explosive social media posts in June, when she withdrew from the (Australian Olympic) trials for the Tokyo Olympic Games, “as a lesson to misogynistic perverts and their bootlickers”.

“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,” Groves tweeted.

Groves said she decided to do the interview after watching the ABC’s three-part investigative series about former elite swimming coach, John Wright, who has since been arrested in conjunction with revelation of complaints of a sexual nature made against him in the 80s.

The ABC report said: “As 7.30 revealed last month, Wright is accused of sexually abusing a number of teenage boys he trained at Queensland pools in the 1980s and 1990s.

“The reports led to a Queensland Police investigation and Wright’s arrest. He is now in custody facing nine charges of indecent dealing with a child and one count of common assault .”

“I think seeing the report on the John Wright case, there’s this attitude that that type of thing is a historical issue and it doesn’t happen anymore and that times have changed,” Groves said.

“But I don’t think that’s necessarily true,” she added, fighting back tears.

Swimming Australia, who reached out to Groves on several occasions following her initial claims in June said it had referred her complaints to the independent complaints body, Sport Integrity Australia.

“Given it is now under an ongoing investigation, it would not be appropriate to make further comment on the matter,” the statement said.

But Swimming World understands that Australia’s swimming community is shaking its collective heads after so much glory from the Games in Tokyo.

Pondering how it could all come down to this?

Swimming bosses again face another huge challenge with the sport’s administrators, coaches, swimmers and the wider swimming community left shaking their heads after riding the crest of a successful Tokyo wave.

And it comes on the eve of a swimming season that is about to hit full swing in the lead up to next year’s World Championships and Commonwealth Games and the long term countdown to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

Swimming Australia president and Olympic legend Kieren Perkins, his board of directors and his newly appointed CEO Eugenie Buckley, will again be thrust into the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

A sport that Perkins, one of the country’s most decorated Olympic swimming heroes , will use all his powers to ensure his sport is a Safe Sport for all and complaints and investigations are run through the correct channels to protect its entire membership and a vibrant swimming community.


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