A leading barrister will lead an independent investigation into claims of an abusive culture within Australian swimming.
Chris Ronalds assisted in developing the country’s sexual discrimination laws and will now lead the independent investigation into swimmers claims that there is a culture of abuse within Swimming Australia. Ronalds will lead the investigation with an all-female panel and has requested for swimmers to come forward with any complaints they wish to make.
The investigation has come as a result of Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves’ complaints against Swimming Australia as she has previously alleged sexual misconduct and pulled out of the Olympic trials after saying that the sport was full of “misogynistic perverts”. At least six other athletes have spoken out against the culture following Groves’ comments.
Ronalds said “I would hope that members of the swimming community will have confidence in the process that we have set up, it’s entirely independent from Swimming Australia (SA) and has no connection with them. Our analysis and investigation will be confidential to the panel and we will formulate our recommendations based on the information received. So it’s important for members of the swimming community ... to come to us and help us. The panel will operate over the next few months and its work will take a little time to be done because it’s a serious matter that must be addressed properly.” Ronalds also added “While the focus is on females in the swimming community, our panel will work for the betterment of all in the swimming community. With the work of this panel comes real opportunity for all sports to learn and grow.”
Swimming Australia chief executive said “We want what is best for swimming and the swimming community. I look forward to hearing the recommendations of the panel and working with them towards improving and evolving our sport into the future.”