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Madeline Groves launches scathing attack on Swimming Australia boss Kieran Perkins amid ongoing investigation

by ZwemZa on September 3rd, 2021

Swimmer Madeline Groves has launched a scathing attack on Swimming Australia (SA) President Kieran Perkins amid an ongoing investigation into her allegations of misconduct within the sport.

The winner of two silver medals at the 2016 Olympics sensationally withdrew from the trials for Tokyo 2020 in June, declaring she was tired of dealing with ‘misogynistic perverts’ in the sport.

An all-female panel was subsequently appointed to conduct an investigation into the ‘experience and advancement’ of women in swimming.

Groves took to her Instagram story on Thursday to slam comments Perkins made to Channel 9 several weeks ago in a blistering attack.

She wrote: “Roughly 5 days after the investigation into Swimming Australia was opened, the President of Swimming Australia had this to say to Brett Graham from Nine/WWOS: “That doesn’t mean we’re perfect, it doesn’t mean there’s not challenges, but to suggest that there’s some kind of deep, endemic issue is miles away from the mark. I defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue in swimming at the moment’.”

But the 26-year-old doubled down on her claims of misconduct, claiming she told Perkins of specific incidents in June.

“In late June I met with Kieran and the former CEO of Swimming Australia to allege some specific misconduct by current employees of Swimming Australia,” Groves wrote.

“I also mentioned that I had received a specific number of messages from people reporting misconduct in Australian swimming (from roughly 78 people at that time, I’ve had many more since), and at that time several people were willing to sign sworn affidavits outlining misconduct.

“Despite knowing this, and the fact there is an ongoing investigation going on into Swimming Australia, Kieran thought it was appropriate to say these things publicly.

“When this article came out – I had people contact me saying they no longer felt comfortable making a submission because of these comments.”

Groves expressed a lack of trust in Perkins, who will receive a copy of the report when the investigation is finalised.

“The final report from the investigation gets handed back to two people – Chair of the Australian Sports Commission and Kieran Perkins,” she wrote.

“To ‘defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue’ while there is an ongoing investigation is absolutely shocking and totally irresponsible.

“How can anyone trust that Kieran will act on the report when he is already openly denying there are problems despite already being told about them?

“Is this the right person to lead Australia’s Premier Olympic Sport into the future? I don’t think so. What about you?”

Groves’ public stance surrounding Perkins’ position comes as SA calls for submissions to their inquiry investigating the impact of Swimming Australia’s culture.

An independent panel is set to review the submissions which is open to anyone in the swimming community and will be a fully confidential process.

The Independent Panel of Female Experts will include Ms Chris Ronalds AO SC, Ms Katherine Bates and Professor Alex Parker.

SA has confirmed there are five key areas to the inquiry which include “the structures within Australian swimming that influence the experience of participants, particular girls and women”.

Groves also provided some more details of her claims against the culture in Swimming Australia. She confirmed that as part of her submission, she included details around incidents that happened when she was 12 years old.

For full details on the inquiry, and if you have are involved in swimming in any capacity and have a submission to make, you can look here.

Steve Orme and Lachlan McKirdy | Sporting News

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