Olympic swimming champ Maddie Groves has quit the upcoming Olympic swim trials because of a “misogynistic” culture of “bootlickers” and “perverts” in the sporting industry.

Groves won two silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and was set to participate at the Olympic swimming trials in Adelaide this weekend. However, yesterday she made the brave decision to pull out of the trials due to ongoing sexism and mistreatment.

“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,” Groves wrote on Twitter.

In November last year, Groves made a complaint about a particular person in swimming who made her uncomfortable. She alleges that this person would stare at her in her bathers, as well as staring at her chest. Despite this complaint, they were still given a promotion.

It wasn’t just the one person either, other people in the industry also made inappropriate comments towards her.

The Olympic medallist has endometriosis and adenomyosis, two conditions affecting women that are widely disregarded as “bad period pain” (peep this article for a deep dive into what having endo is actually like). Like most women, Groves has had to deal with doctors and people in sport not taking her diagnoses seriously.

“What’s worse, body shaming a person that’s extremely fit by telling them they’re fat, or telling a person you don’t care if they’ve had 2 surgeries in a year and are probs infertile, they don’t deserve more help — let’s get a poll going,” Groves wrote on Twitter in December.

The Australian obtained a statement from Swimming Australia, which said they had reached out to Maddie last year, but didn’t have her complaint on file.

“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, Maddie declined to provide further information nor do we have any previous complaints on record from Maddie,” the statement read.

Maddie Groves will still be competing in other swimming trials this year, and hopefully pulling out of the Olympics will send a strong message that sexism should never be tolerated.

Image: Instagram / Maddie Groves