Rio silver medalist Maddie Groves announced she was dropping out of the Australian Olympic Trials on Wednesday and later tweeted her explanation:
“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 expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus. Time’s UP”
Swimming Australia President Kieran Perkins initially responded with confusion.
Now Swimming Australia has released two more statements regarding Grove’s post. The statements are vague and do not mention Groves or any sort of body shaming or harassment directly.
Three-time American Olympic gold medalist Tracy Stockwell is at the forefront of forming an “independent female panel” that will “investigate ongoing issues relates to swimmers’ experiences” and “ ongoing issues related to women and girls’ experience and advancement in our sport. Their focus will be on our future.”
The new CEO of Swimming Australia, Alex Baumann, is leading a “strategic structural review of Swimming Australia.”
The Board is planning a “strategy session” that will take place before the end of the month.
“Swimming Australia has been consciously working on issues of institutional concern for the past decade.
“Our focus is what we do today and in the future to ensure safe elite performance.”
“We will continue to communicate the progress of this panel to our community and stakeholders.”
- “Any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously by Swimming Australia.As part of our ongoing work, our ethics and integrity committee will be meeting today and working on this path forward and the Board will be meeting tomorrow.As we have said before, these allegations are concerning and we want to provide the best environment for our athletes.We have a clear process in place and are working on the formation of the independent female panel that will investigate ongoing issues related to our swimmer’s experiences.Tracy Stockwell is overseeing the formation of this panel on behalf of this Board, but not leading this panel.We are committed to continuing to operate in the best interests of our athletes and the sport.We will continue to communicate the progress of this panel to our community and stakeholders.”
- “Swimming Australia has been consciously working on issues of institutional concern for the past decade. Our focus is what we do today and in the future to ensure safe elite performance. We are committed to the work of a solutions-based framework for Swimming Australia’s future.This is ongoing and daily work. Integrity and care are vital to our sporting success, we recognise this and it forms the foundation for our actions as an organisation. Our Board of Directors is committed to the wellbeing of our swimmers and to the work it takes to create an environment of success and safety. Our new CEO Alex Baumann has proactively begun a strategic structural review of Swimming Australia, five weeks into this role. Our Board will meet at the end of the month to have this strategy session. In addition to this planning, our Ethics and Integrity Committee of the Board will be closely examining all matters relating to issues raised this week.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.We have taken the following steps to further our work – and have instigated these steps this morning.We will prioritise our current work across our integrity program. We will work with an independent female panel to investigate ongoing issues related to women and girls’ experience and advancement in our sport. Their focus will be on our future.
Our board director Tracy Stockwell will help establish this process. She has significant personal elite athlete experience and organisational experience with Swimming Australia.”
It just seems bizarre that Groves drops this bomb – on the eve of the Olympic trials – and then, apparently, refuses to respond to Swimming Australia’s attempts to communicate.
Exactly. Not very helpful unless you’re going to be part of the process to clean up whatever is the problem. Otherwise it’s just trolling.
tracy stockwell nee caulkins
Firstly just because they are female does not mean the process is better. Today Grant Hackett amplified things I’ve been saying better than any female
This should not hoist the victim ship sails but give athletes , coaches & officials , Kids & volunteers defined rights . I think the Australian public understands very well the situation .They are up for it . A new Manifesto now !
Is this supposed to make sense?
Read some news .
“get me my EGGS WOMAN!!” oh wait, that was NZ