In the latest update to the ongoing chronicle involving Aussie Olympic medalist Maddie Groves and her accusations of overall cultural problems within Swimming Australia, the athlete has unleashed additional statements specifically against Kieran Perkins.
Perkins, who serves as President of Swimming Australia, was labeled as being ‘irresponsible’ in the denial of what Groves previously described as a ‘misogynistic culture’ which includes ‘bootlicking perverts.’
Perkins added he would “defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue in swimming at the moment.” (The Guardian)
Specifically, in response to Perkins’ comments, Groves stated, “To ‘defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue’ while there is an ongoing investigation is absolutely shocking and totally irresponsible.
“How could anyone trust that Kieren will act on the report when he is already openly denying there are problems despite already being told about them? Is this the right person to lead Australia’s premier Olympic sport into the future. I don’t think so.” (The Guardian)
She also pointed to the fact that she had received ‘a significant number of messages from people reporting misconduct in Australian Swimming (from roughly 78 people at the time, I’ve had many more since) and at that time several people were willing to sign sworn affidavits outlining misconduct.’
“Despite knowing this, and the fact there is an ongoing investigation going on into Swimming Australia, Kieren thought it was appropriate to say these things publicly.
“When this article came out – I had people contact me saying they no longer felt comfortable making a submission because of these comments.”
As we reported in June, Groves’ social media posts included the following, “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.”
Subsequently, an independent panel was set up, supported by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) through the Australian Institute of Sport, and Swimming Australia. The panel’s purpose is to investigate issues related to women and girls’ experience and advancement in the sport of swimming.
On her bowing out of June’s Olympic Trials and ultimately opting out of trying to defend her 200m fly silver medal from 5 years ago, Groves said, “It was disappointing to miss out on an opportunity like that (Olympic trials) but the potential rewards absolutely outweighs the risk.
“But it’s worth it. If this independent panel can have some meaningful outcomes that make the sport safer and more enjoyable for all stakeholders, not just women and girls, that is more valuable than an Olympic medal.”