Maddie Groves Boycott’s Australian Olympic Swim Trials in Protest Over “Misogynistic Perverts In Sport & Their Boot Lickers”

2021-06-10 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Madeline Groves, Olympic silver at Rio 2016 - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Maddie Groves, the Olympic silver medalist over 200m butterfly and a national champion, is boycotting Australia’s Olympic swimming trials and will miss the Covid-19-delayed Tokyo 2020ne Olympic Games.

The 26-year-old, who also helped Australia’s 4×100 medley quartet to silver at Rio 2016, announced late Wednesday that she had withdrawn from the six-day trials that get underway in Adelaide on Saturday.

Groves posted a scathing tweet to an unidentified figure in the swimming fraternity, saying:

“… 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.”

Maddie Groves – image courtesy of Swimming Australia

The identity of Groves’ target is said to be “unclear” but a private message appears to have sparked the protest from the Queensland swimmer, who has endometriosis and adenomyosis.

“If you (or your partner) have contributed to an environment that’s unsupportive of people with chronic illness or made decisions around cutting athlete funding in the last four years, do not f***ing DM me telling me I’m brave for pulling out of Olympic trials,” Groves writes on her Instagram page. “What’s brave is showing your face in a community you’ve ripped off for the sake of your own career xx.”

Swimming Australia declined to comment when contacted by and other media and it unclear whether the federation or an Australian swimming official or delegate is linked to the protest.

Groves, a member of Team Iron in the International Swimming League, has spoken openly about health battles such as her 2017 endometriosis diagnosis and surgery last year that uncovered a cancer scare.

7News reports: She has also previously gone public with “uncomfortable” situations, revealing last November that she had made a complaint about an incident earlier in her career. Groves said her formal response fell on deaf ears until she tweeted about the “weirdo” who stared at her breasts while she was in her swimming gear.

In announcing her decision to withdraw from the Olympic trials, Groves confirmed that she will be back, writing:

“I’m so grateful to feel so supported in this decision. 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!) I’m so excited to watch everyone at trials and to see who will be representing Australia in Tokyo – whatever happens I genuinely think this will be one of the fastest Australian Swim Teams ever and I encourage everyone to get on the bandwagon early. Best of luck to everyone competing at Olympic Trials but most of all to my beautiful team from Moreton Bay Swimming.”

Maddie Groves

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