Swimming Australia to investigate misogyny claims after Groves complaint

ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) - Swimming Australia said Saturday it will set up an independent female panel to investigate issues relating to women and girls after complaints about "misogynistic perverts" by dual Olympic silver medallist Maddie Groves.

The 26-year-old pulled out of the Australian Olympic swimming trials on Thursday over the issue.

"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. Time s UP," Groves said on social media.

The target of her comments was not clear, but last November she complained on Twitter about "a person that works at swimming making me feel uncomfortable the way they stare at me" in her swimming costume.

The governing body has not been able to contact her, but after a meeting on the sidelines of the trials in Adelaide, it announced a panel to look into the issues more closely.

"This is a crucial week ahead of us, we know though these issues are too important to ignore. They need to be addressed here and now. We are committed to keeping our people safe and well," it said in a statement.

"We will work with an independent female panel to investigate ongoing issues related to women and girls  experience and advancement in our sport."

Swimming Australia chief executive Alex Baumann told broadcaster ABC no other swimmer had come forward with complaints and he did not think the sport had a problem with poor attitudes towards women.

"But I think this is what we re setting up to try to find out, so we re setting up this panel to exactly take a look at that," he added.

Despite her bombshell allegations, Groves indicated she was not calling time on her career.

She came second in the 200-metre butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics.