Double Olympics silver medallist announces decision on social media; also talks about earlier complaints of ‘body shaming’
Adelaide: The coronavirus pandemic is not the only reason for teams and individual sportspersons withdrawing from this year’s Tokyo Olympics. Dual Olympic silver medallist Madeline Groves has withdrawn from Australia’s swimming trials for the Games citing “misogynist perverts” as the reason. The swimmer announced her decision on Instagram and Twitter. The Australian trials for the Games will begin in Adelaide on Saturday.
“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,” she tweeted.
Groves had won silver in the 200 metres butterfly and 4×100 medley at the 2016 Rio Games. In December, she had taken to social media to talk about a man in swimming who stared at her in her swimsuit and made her feel uncomfortable a few years ago.
“I think he went through some personal development first hopefully to teach him to not stare at young women in their toga (swimsuit), THEN he got promoted,” Groves wrote on Twitter.
She also tweeted; “We didn’t really have a #metoo moment in swimming but just realising it was this weirdo staring at my tits when I’m trying to swim”.
Groves claimed that a “well known coach” had made a “creepy comment” to her and apologised 15 minutes later, “possibly because the team psych told him to”.
On December 1, Groves also tweeted about being “body shamed” and not having her battles with endometriosis and adenomyosis taken seriously.
Governing body Swimming Australia said they had reached out to Groves following her comments in December.
“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,” SA said in a statement.
“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.”
Australia’s baseball team withdraws due to pandemic
The Australian baseball team has withdrawn from the qualifying round, which was to be held in Mexico on June 22-26.
Baseball Australia’s chief executive Glenn Williams called it a “gut-wrenching” decision. The final qualifying round was to be held in Taiwan, but was later shifted to Mexico. Taiwan had earlier pulled out of the Mexico round while China had done so earlier in May, before the venue was shifted.
North Korea has decided not to participate in the Games this year due to coronavirus concerns. It said the decision was taken to protect its athletes.
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