Swimming Australia Commits To Zero-Tolerance Of ‘Inappropriate Behaviour’ In Wake Of Groves Protest; All-Women Integrity Panel In The Works
The leadership of Swimming Australia, with three race legends of the sport in key posts, has committed itself to a zero-torelance response to “inappropriate behaviour” in the wake of a protest by Olympic 200m butterfly silver medallist Maddie Groves over “misogynistic perverts” and the “boot lickers” who turn a blind eye.
Groves withdrew from Olympic trials on the eve of action in Adelaide. Now, after a meeting of the Board of Swimming Australia today, the federation has issued a statement in which it commits to improving communication about complaints procedures and pathways available to its membership.
Further, it noted that the federation is “working on a draft Terms of Reference for the formation of our [all-women integrity] panel. This is an important step. We are encouraged by the public interest in this work. We have had a number of impressive candidates expressing a willingness to be involved since this announcement on Saturday.”
Swimming Australia has appealed to Groves to come forward with her complaint and the details of the abusive behaviour she says she was subject to.
The Swimming Australia Statement in full
The Board of Swimming Australia held a regularly scheduled meeting today.
The following outcomes have been agreed upon. The work we have committed to takes time to get right for our community. We are seeking a balance between the need for action and having the correct process in place for solutions for our sport.
The Board of Swimming Australia priorities are:
Swimming Australia is committed to a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate behaviour across any level of Swimming associated with our organisation.
In addition, we acknowledge the complaints process should be easily accessible and we have committed to ensuring all our members are aware of the avenues to access this process. The independent pathways through the Australian Institute of Sport and Sport Integrity Australia may not have been communicated clearly in the past. We could have done better. In the next 24 hours we will be sending a communication to all of our community reiterating the avenues of process for any complaint. This information will be communicated on the Swimming Australia website also.
Independent Female-led Panel
We are working on a draft Terms of Reference for the formation of our panel. This is an important step. We are encouraged by the public interest in this work. We have had a number of impressive candidates expressing a willingness to be involved since this announcement on Saturday.
To ensure the integrity of the panel we need to have the right composition of members. We hope to be able to announce a Chairperson as soon as possible.
We are optimistic about the future of the sport we love. We urge patience as we find the best way forward. Swimming Australia is committed to transparency and keeping the community updated on our progress.
We also would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the extraordinary results in the pool. We look forward to announcing the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Team later this week.