Maddie Groves Pulls out of Olympic Trials to Send Message To 'Misogynistic Perverts'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2021

Australia's Maddie Groves takes bronze in the Women's 200m Butterfly Final at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 28, 2014.   AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images

Australian swimmer Maddie Groves announced she will not compete at her country's Olympic trials and implied she was mistreated by some in her sport:

Maddie Groves @MaddieGroves_

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 https://t.co/XMQCRPjNzK

She made the initial announcement on Instagram Wednesday, noting she will return to swimming later in 2021.

"I’m so grateful to feel so supported in this decision," Groves wrote. "I feel very relieved and I’m looking forward to racing at some other competitions later in the year (yeah sorry/not sorry, you haven’t got rid of me just yet!)."

Groves earned two silver medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, one for the 200-meter butterfly and one for her part in the 4x100-meter medley.

The Olympic trials for the 2021 Games in Tokyo are set to begin Saturday in Adelaide, Australia.

As Cindy Boren of the Washington Post noted, Groves previously referred to a person sexually harassing her in November and December 2020.

Maddie Groves @MaddieGroves_

Woah guys this may have worked. Next time you have a weirdo stare at your tits and your complaint falls on deaf ears, try tweeting about it. https://t.co/viXPcHXMWi

Swimming Australia said it reached out to Groves after the tweet but she declined to provide further information, per BBC Sport.

"All allegations concerning child abuse or sexual misconduct are taken seriously by Swimming Australia," the organization said in a statement. "We consider the welfare, safety and wellbeing of children and young people as paramount, and we have a duty to make inquiries to uphold the standards of our sport."

Per Boren, the Australian Olympic Committee has not commented on Groves dropping out of trials or her comments about the decision.