Swimming Australia will undergo an investigation into the alleged “misogynistic” culture within The Australian Olympic swimming community, following Aussie medalist Maddie Groves’ withdrawal from the Olympic swimming trials on Friday evening.
In a media release shared on their website last night, a representative for the national swimming organisation said that they are “consciously working on issues of institutional concern for the past decade,” and will closely look into the concerns raised by Groves in recent weeks.
“We will work with an independent female panel to investigate ongoing issues related to women and girls’ experience and advancement in our sport,” they said.
“Their focus will be on our future… This is a crucial week ahead of us, we know though these issues are too important to ignore.
“They need to be addressed here and now. We are committed to keeping our people safe and well.”
Board director Tracy Stockwell, who has “significant personal elite athlete experience and organisational experience with Swimming Australia”, will lead the panel. According to the ABC, Stockwell said she did not think swimming had a problem with women but “when we have any accusations of misbehaviour or inappropriate behaviour, we take that very seriously.”
“In light of the fact that we don’t have her coming forward, we need to look at our complaints process as well to see is there some reason why she’s not coming forward and get to the bottom of it.
“What we’re trying to be is as open and transparent as possible.”
In case you missed it, Aussie Olympic swimming champ Maddie Groves quit the upcoming Olympic swimming trials earlier this week after experiencing a “misogynistic” culture of “bootlickers” and “perverts” in the sporting industry.
“My decision is partly because there’s a pandemic on, but mostly it’s the culmination of years of witnessing and ‘benefitting’ from a culture that relies on people ignoring bad behaviour to thrive,” she wrote on Instagram.
Groves, who won two silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was supposed to participate in the Olympic swimming trials in Adelaide this weekend but pulled out. You can read the rest of her statement here.