Swimming-Lawyer Ronalds to lead Australian review into abuse allegations

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Swimming Australia (SA) has appointed barrister Chris Ronalds to lead its review into allegations of abuse of swimmers, the national federation said on Tuesday.

Australian swimming has been under the microscope since double Olympic silver medallist Madeline Groves withdrew from Tokyo Games trials, citing "mysogynistic perverts" in the sport.

Several unnamed former swimmers have since submitted allegations of misconduct to SA, which on Saturday acknowledged historical abuses of swimmers dating back "decades".

"The community can be assured this will be an independent process and I look forward to presenting some outcomes that will ensure swimming will be a safe and successful environment in Australia in the future," Sydney-based Ronalds said in a statement issued by SA.

Ronalds, a sex discrimination expert, will appoint the other two members of an all-female panel set up by SA to investigate "the experience of women and girls in the sport".

The statement said the review would investigate behaviour, conduct and practises of people in authority, ways to support the advancement of women in high performance coaching roles, and how to effectively address issues concerning performance physique in sport.

It would also look into the complaints process across SA's organisational structure.

"And while the focus is on females in the swimming community, our panel will work for the betterment of all in the swimming community," Ronalds added.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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