Swimming Australia says bad treatment a decades-long issue

Jun 25, 2021, 6:47 AM | Updated: 6:49 pm

SYDNEY (AP) — Swimming Australia says unacceptable treatment of some swimmers is a decades-long problem amid media reports that six former elite athletes will soon make public their experiences of abuse in the sport.

Swimming Australia said in a statement Saturday that it is “deeply concerned and understands the gravity” of fresh claims of abuse within the sport after meeting with former Olympic swimmer Maddie Groves.

“We acknowledge some members of the swimming community have experienced unacceptable behavior, some of this dates back decades,” SA said.

The swimming association said it was unaware of the nature of the claims from the six swimmers.

Local media said the swimmers will come forward amid a controversy initiated by two-time Olympic silver medalist Groves in a series of social media posts. Groves withdrew from Australia’s Olympic swim trials which finished in Adelaide nine days ago, claiming there were “misogynistic perverts in sport.”

Groves on Friday met with Swimming Australia president Kieren Perkins and chief executive officer Alex Baumann to detail her concerns. Perkins and Baumann are both former Olympic gold medalists in swimming, Perkins for Australia and Baumann for Canada.

“We have met with Maddie Groves and had productive discussions,” SA said. “The most important thing we are working on right now is ensuring Australia has a safe swimming community.”

Groves’ claims prompted other reports of poor culture in the sport, including incidents of fat-shaming of female swimmers.

At the Australian trials, two-time Olympic gold medalist Emily Seebohm spoke of her mistreatment.

“A lot of people said that I wasn’t going to do it, I was too old, I needed to lose weight, I needed to look different,” Seebohm said after earning selection for her fourth Olympics at next month’s Tokyo Games.

SA has appealed to any concerned swimmers to come forward and will create an independent all-female panel to investigate any incidents of abuse.

“In the coming days, we’re due to announce the chair of the independent, female-led panel,” SA said. “We have proactively spoken to a number of parents and swimmers across various levels of swimming and invited them to make submissions to this new panel.”

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Jan Blachowicz, right, reacts after knocking out Luke Rockhold during the second round of th...
Associated Press

UFC 282: Suddenly vacant light heavyweight belt at stake

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev have been waiting for their shot at the light heavyweight title, and neither expected it to come Saturday. They were supposed to compete in the co-main event of UFC 282 until champion Jiri Prochazka pulled out last month of his fight with second-ranked Glover Teixeira because […]
1 day ago
FILE - Brittney Griner (15) runs up court during women's basketball gold medal game against Japan a...
Associated Press

Quote Box: Reaction to Brittney Griner’s release from Russia

Reactions after WNBA star Brittney Griner was freed from a Russian prison in a high-profile prisoner exchange. ___ “A strong woman has the strength of 10 men. If you think about all the women that have been advocating for BG for nine months and you add up our strength. This movement brought her home. Yes […]
1 day ago
Perci Ami, left, of Laveen, Ariz., and Patty Talahongva show support for Brittney Griner, Thursday,...
Associated Press

Brittney Griner’s release celebrated by basketball world

Brittney Griner’s loved ones and extended basketball family were ecstatic when news broke Thursday about her release from a Russian prison and that she was on her way back to the United States. It has been nearly 300 days since the WNBA star was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February, when customs officials said […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Youth hockey doctor faces more sex abuse charges

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit doctor already jailed on criminal sexual conduct charges connected to his work with youth hockey organizations has been charged in two additional cases. Zvi Levran, 66, is accused of sexually assaulting a 30-year-old man in 2020 in Levran’s Farmington Hills home and a 14-year-old boy in 2018 […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

New Mexico State Police release fatal campus shooting video

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — State Police have released surveillance footage of last month’s fatal shooting on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque that involved a basketball player from a rival school. Rooftop parking lot video released Tuesday by police showed that three people approached New Mexico State University junior forward Mike Peake, […]
1 day ago
Poland's Arkadiusz Milik, left, and France's Youssouf Fofana, right, fight for the ball during the ...
Associated Press

From serving pizzas, Fofona now delivering World Cup crosses

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Youssouf Fofana has gone from serving pizzas to delivering crosses in the World Cup. Dropped in 2015 at age 14 from Clairefontaine, France’s national training center, his future in soccer seemed at an end. So he went to work for a pizzeria. “That was the best way to earn money […]
1 day ago
Swimming Australia says bad treatment a decades-long issue