Swimming Australia To Form Independent All-Women Panel After Groves’ Claims
wimming Australia has announced an all-women independent review panel will investigate claims for swimmer, Maddie Groves, who last week withdrew from the Australian Olympic swimming trials, claiming the sport exploits young women and girls.
Groves announced her decision on Instagram on Wednesday, before taking to Twitter to elaborate, saying: “Let this be a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sport and their bootlickers.”
“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,” Groves said on Twitter.
Swimming Australia CEO, Alex Baumann, said the organisation will investigate Grove’s claims.
“Obviously with some of the communications, some of the tweets, I think we have to investigate some of those issues…,” Baumann told reporters.
“We’ve tried to make contact with Madeline Groves, but she has not replied.
“If there is an issue, come to us and we will certainly investigate it.
“Unfortunately, she hasn’t responded.
“I don’t know if there is a problem.
“That’s what we have to determine.
“After the tweets, we have to investigate some of those issues.
“I think we are trying to be as proactive as possible,” he said.
Discussing Grove’s claims she made a complaint last year about sexual harassment, Baumann said Swimming Australia has “no record of any complaint”.
“That’s why we tried to contact her on December 20th.
“That was done by Lydia Dowse, our head of integrity.
“Obviously with those tweets just recently I contacted her via email with a similar message, that we would investigate.
“We need the information, we need the evidence.
“We want to be proactive with the issues that have been raised in the past couple of days.
“We have an ethics and integrity committee on the board that will deal with some of these issues.
“But we are taking further steps,” he said.
Swimming Australia has revealed the independent panel will be led by Swimming Australia director, Tracy Stockwell, who said: “We’ve made lots of improvements, but we need to do a little bit more looking into this to see what the issues are, are there issues, and what do we do moving forward to protect our athletes.”
“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,” Stockwell said.
The Swimming Australia board is set to meet next week to discuss the formation of the independent female panel set to investigate the complaints.