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Groves takes aim at swimming boss Perkins

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Maddie Groves says Swimming Australia president Keiren Perkins isn’t the right person for the job due to his denials of culture problems in the sport.

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Groves accused Perkins of a shocking and irresponsible denial of cultural problems in the sport.

The swimmer withdrew from Australia’s selection trials for the recent Tokyo Olympics, citing a misogynistic culture in swimming.

Her claims triggered a wave of controversy as others alleged abusive practices in the sport.

Swimming Australia has formed an independent panel to investigate the claims which will deliver its findings to Perkins and Australian Sports Commission chair Josephine Sukkar.

Perkins in June said he would “defy anyone to suggest there’s a cultural issue in swimming at the moment”.

In a series of Instagram posts, Groves took aim at Perkins for those comments.

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

“How could anyone trust that Kieren 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.”

Groves met with Perkins and Swimming Australia’s chief executive Alex Baumann, who will soon quit the role due to health reasons, in late June.

Groves, who won two silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said she alleged “some specific misconduct by current employees of Swimming Australia”.

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

“Despite knowing this, and the fact there is an ongoing investigation going on into Swimming Australia, Kieren 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.”

-AAP

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