Swimming Australia boss Kieren Perkins says Maddy Groves is yet to make any official complaint over her claim “misogynistic perverts” exist within the sport.
Groves, who won two silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, made the allegations in an explosive social media post.
“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,” Groves wrote.
Groves has pulled out of the Olympic Swimming Trials that begin in Adelaide this weekend.
Acknowledging the seriousness of the claims, Perkins has urged Groves to get in touch with Swimming Australia.
“Unfortunately Maddy is certainly struggling at the moment it would seem, based on the social media posts that she’s putting up,” he told Today.
“The reality is, that’s all we know, what’s on social media, she’s at no time contacted Swimming Australia, we haven’t been able to talk to her directly and go through her concerns.
“I can certainly reassure her that claims like these are of the upmost importance to us, and providing a safe environment for all of our participants is absolutely paramount to us.”
Perkins says Swimming Australia remains keen to assist Groves.
“Unfortunately, social media posts don’t constitute any actionable claim for us, we actually need to sit down and talk to people about this,” he said.
“We would love to do that and we’d like Maddy to come and speak with us if she feels that she can.
“The challenge is also for Maddy as a person, we know she’s had some very significant health issues over the last year or more.
“Unfortunately with those health issues not putting her in the best physical condition to allow her to compete she has had to pull out of the trials.
“It’s certainly a very difficult time.”
In November, Groves posted on Twitter that she had complained “a few years ago”, with the swimmer alleging that a “person that works at swimming making me feel uncomfortable the way they stare at me in my togs”.
She then alleged the person had “possibly been given a promotion.”
Perkins, the president of Swimming Australia, is also in the dark about who Groves was referring to.
“I have absolutely no evidence that there was any complaint made, or that anyone was promoted because I don’t know who she’s talking about, or what the complaint is,” he said.
“I actually have no evidence of that, and that’s really quite concerning.
“In terms of the culture of our sport, that’s something that really does stab at the heart of everyone involved in swimming.
“We work extremely hard to provide an open and safe environment for everybody.
“I would disagree strongly with that view.”
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