Australian swimming star Maddie Groves has pulled out of the upcoming Olympic trials, saying her withdrawal is the result of “misogynistic perverts” in the sport.
Groves, who won two silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, announced her withdrawal from the Australian trials on social media on Wednesday, just days before the trials are set to begin in Adelaide on Saturday.
“Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers,” she 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. 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
Groves then shared this tweet on Instagram, adding she was “putting this on the feed for emphasis.”
“Make them pervs quake in fear from the number of people supporting a statement that threatens their existence.”
Although it remains unclear who Groves is specifically referring to, she has publicly shared concerns about the alleged behaviour of an individual in the past.
In November 2020, Groves shared on social media that she had made a complaint about a “person that works at swimming making me feel uncomfortable the way they stare at me in my togs”. She added she thought the person had been given a promotion at the time.
She followed up that tweet with another post saying: “Woah guys this may have worked. Next time you have a weirdo stare at your tits and your complaints fall on deaf ears, try tweeting about it.”
The 26-year-old swimmer indicated she intends to continue swimming and will race in other competitions later this year despite missing the Olympics.
“I’m so grateful to feel so supported in this decision,” she said. “I feel very relieved and I’m looking forward to racing at some other competitions later in the year.”
In her first Olympics in 2016, Grove took home silver medals in the 200m butterfly and the 4x100m medley. Groves is also a dual Commonwealth games gold medallist.
Swimming Australia said they had reached out to Groves following her allegations last year.
“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,” Swimming Australia said in a statement.
“Maddie declined to provide further information nor do we have any previous complaints on record from Maddie.”