Maddie Groves withdrew from the Australian Olympic swimming test just days before the event began in Adelaide, saying her last-minute withdrawal should be a lesson to “all misogynistic perverts in the sport”.
Groves, who won two silver medals at the Rio Games five years ago, is aiming to reach her second Olympics national test, which begins this weekend and lasts six days. But the 26-year-old butterfly specialist, also a two-time British Community Games gold medalist, announced her decision not to compete in a post on social media on Wednesday night.
In a separate statement issued on Thursday “for emphasis” and “to make them tremble in fear of the number of people supporting a statement that threatens their existence”, she made allegations about her treatment by an unnamed sportsman. .
“Let this be a lesson for all misogynistic perverts in sports and their mucous membranes,” she wrote. “You can no longer exploit young women and girls, shame them or sanctify them medically and then expect them to represent you so you can win your annual bonus. Time is up.”
Swimming Australia is linked for comment. The AOC said it was unable to comment on Thursday.
Groves has made similar claims in the past. In November last year, she claimed that a person she worked with made her feel “uncomfortable” with the way she was looked at in a bathing suit. Groves, who suffers from endometriosis and adenomyosis, also claims she was embarrassed and said she did not “deserve more help” after two surgeries.
Following her decision to withdraw from the race for this year’s Olympics, she said she intends to return to competitive swimming after the Tokyo Games. “I am so grateful that I feel so supported in this decision,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I feel very relieved and look forward to competing in some other competitions later in the year.
“I’m so excited to watch everyone test (streaming on Amazon y’all) and see who will represent Australia in Tokyo – whatever happens, I really think it will be one of the fastest Australian swimming teams ever. and encourage everyone to get up early. Good luck to everyone who competes in the Olympic trials, but especially to my beautiful team from @moretonbay_swimming. “
In their first Olympic appearance in 2016, Groves won silver in the 200m butterfly and 4×100 medley. Her last medal at a major event came at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo in 2018, when she won gold in the 4x200m freestyle.