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Olympic swim star says she was molested 'by perverts' through her teenage years

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Olympic silver medallist Madeline Groves says she was sexually molested as a teenager over a five-year period by a man still involved in swimming.

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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.

“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.”

Groves, a dual silver medallist 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.

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 AAP has chosen not to identify due to legal reasons, and alleged one “manhandled” her and made sexist comments 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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