“May this serve as a lesson to all misogynistic perverts in sports and to those who lick their boots.” The beginning of the message posted by Maddie Groves on Instagram, Thursday evening, sets the tone. There is no longer any question for the Australian swimmer, double silver medalist at the Rio Games in 2016, to let herself be “exploited” by the “misogynistic perverts” who according to her plague the sport: she announces that she will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics , which will begin on July 23.
The 26-year-old, silver medalist in the 200m butterfly and 4 x 100m relay at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, slams the door of the Australian swimming selection for this competition. The selection process for the Olympics is due to start this Saturday in the Australian city of Adelaide, but his indignation seems to have won out over the rest.
“You can no longer exploit young women and girls, shame their bodies or fear for their health and then expect them to represent you so that you can earn your annual bonus. It’s over ! », She addresses to the« misogynistic perverts »that she denounces.
The drop of too much?
Maddie Groves does not give any indication of the identity of the persons concerned. She complained last November on Twitter of a “person working in swimming who makes me feel uncomfortable by the way he stares at me in my clothes”.
A few days later, she denounced a “sinister comment” made by an unidentified coach, who later quickly apologized, “perhaps because the team psychologist had told her to do so”.
The chairman of the governing body of swimming in the country Swimming Australia, Kieren Perkins, for his part regretted that the swimmer did not file a formal complaint. “All we know is what’s on social media. (Maddie) has at no time contacted Swimming Australia ”, he regretted on the television channel Channel Nine.
The boss of the national swimming team has since said that Australia was “very concerned” by what denounces the young woman. “We could not speak to him directly and talk about his concerns to understand what is happening,” he had previously regretted.
“A break” but no final stop
“Unfortunately, social media posts do not represent an admissible complaint for us. We have to sit down with the people and talk about it. We really would like to do that and we wish Maddie would come and talk with us if she thinks she can do it. “
It seems that it has since been done: Kieren Perkins phoned Maddie Groves to discuss the situation, reports the national channel ABC Australia.
Despite her withdrawal, Maddie Groves specifies that she does not intend to end her career. “I need a break,” she said simply in a second post following her announcement. And the young woman to specify that she is eager to “participate in other competitions later this year”.