Olympic silver medalist Madeline Groves says she was molested as a teenager over a five-year period by a man still involved in swimming.
Groves also alleges she was ‘manhandled’ by a separate coach and, by yet another coach, touched inappropriately when a teen swimmer.
Groves has detailed her allegations to the ABC’s 7.30 Report to be aired on Wednesday night.
She said she was molested from the age of 13 to 18 by a man she refused to identify.
Olympic silver medalist Madeline Groves has spoken about her sexual abuse as a child while competing in swimming
Groves claims she was ‘manhandled’ and abused many times by several people starting when she was 13
‘When I was underage, on multiple occasions I was actually molested by an adult male,’ she told the ABC.
‘At the time I didn’t feel like there was anyone I could tell about that.
‘And there’s no one in swimming that I would trust disclosing that to now, either.’
Groves said she had not made an official complaint about the man but he still worked in swimming.
‘I don’t think I really want to report it to police,’ she said.
‘It’s obviously a huge process emotionally … and then it doesn’t necessarily end up working out that well.
‘I’ve had a couple of other friends and people that I know in swimming that have been sexually abused and assaulted and they’ve been through that process.
‘It ends up being really disappointing … and things don’t really seem to change.
‘It’s sort of swept under the rug.
‘And I think if I made a complaint, I don’t really think anything would be any different to that.’
She made headlines earlier this year when she withdrew from trials for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics and cited sexual misconduct in the industry as the cause
Groves slammed sporting officials when announced she wouldn’t be competing in Tokyo Olympic trials and called out ‘misogynistic perverts’
Groves, a dual silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, triggered controversy when withdrawing from Australia’s selection trials for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
In a series of social media posts, she referred to ‘misogynistic perverts’ within swimming in Australia.
‘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,’ she tweeted.
Her claims prompted a wider investigation, which is ongoing, by Swimming Australia into alleged abuse in the sport.
‘Deciding not to compete at Olympic trials was … in a way like a cry for help that hopefully someone would listen and maybe do something about this huge issue in Australian sport,’ she told the ABC.
Groves also named two former swim coaches, who Daily Mail has chosen not to identify due to legal reasons, alleging one ‘manhandled’ her while another ‘blatantly’ stared at her breasts and touched her inappropriately.
The 26-year-old, who recently returned to the pool at the International Swimming League in Europe, said she was speaking out in a bid for change.
‘It just really seems like there is this vicious cycle of using and abusing female athletes until they’re burnt out and broken,’ she said.
‘I feel like if I didn’t speak out, if there’s not a proper investigation into the culture of this sport in Australia, that cycle is just going to continue forever.’
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Groves’ claims have triggered on ongoing investigation by Swimming Australia about misconduct in the sport
Groves said ‘it just really seems like there is this vicious cycle of using and abusing female athletes until they’re burnt out and broken.’