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Australian swimmer Madeline Groves has decided to drop out of the country's upcoming swimming trials for the Tokyo Olympics, citing "misogynistic perverts" who "exploit young women" in a viral post to social media.
The 26-year-old athlete, who earned two silver medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, initially announced the decision in a post to Instagram on Wednesday. In the message, Groves said she was "grateful" and "relieved" after making the announcement, and planned to race in other competitions later this year.
Then, a few hours later on Twitter, Groves explained what led to her surprising decision.
"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," she wrote. "Time's UP."
Back in November, Groves revealed she had made a complaint about a person who made her feel uncomfortable while wearing her swimsuit a few years prior. The unnamed person worked in swimming and was later promoted, even after the complaint, Groves claimed.
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"Can I just say, that I definitely made a complaint a few years ago about a person that works at swimming making me feel uncomfortable the way they stare at me in my togs, and I think they've possibly been given a promotion since," she said.
Groves also said at the time that she complained about a coach who made a "creepy" comment to her before apologizing a short time later.
"Just remembering the time a well known coach (not mine) asked me about uni and I told him one of my subjects was 'Love, Relationships and Sex' and he said in this creepy af voice 'oh, you'd know allllllll about that,' " Groves wrote.
"He came up to me like 15 minutes later and apologised, I think possibly cause the team psych told him to," she claimed. "Like dude I'm 20 please leave me alone and don't make creepy comments to me when I'm just trying to be on the Australian Swim Team."
In a statement, Swimming Australia - the sport's governing body in the country - said they had reached out to Groves in December about her allegations.
"Swimming Australia reached out to Maddie in December 2020 to enquire about a tweet sent by her that referenced potential abuse by someone connected with swimming," the organization said, as cited by the BBC.
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"Maddie declined to provide further information, nor do we have any previous complaints on record from Maddie," the organization continued.
Swimming Australia said they take "allegations concerning child abuse or sexual misconduct" seriously and "consider the welfare, safety, and wellbeing of children and young people as paramount."
On Thursday, Groves thanked her followers on Twitter for their support and said she would be temporarily deleting the app.