Calls for coaches to go following scathing report

October 20, 2023 BY

All in: James Magnussen has reacted to reports of toxic cultures within the Austrian swimming team. Photo: BIANCA DE MARCHI/ AAP IMAGE

FORMER Olympic swimmer James Magnussen has responded to an article that outlines the treatment of female swimmers within the Australian national swimming team.

The Daily Telegraph reported that a recent independent review found a toxic culture towards female athletes which found women were at the receiving end of groping, sexual innuendo, body shaming and physical and mental abuse.

The review found that behaviour from coaches led female swimmers to develop eating disorders following public humiliation.

Magnussen found the report confronting and said that if the claims were true, the coaches at the centre of the allegations should be weeded out and stood down.

“Swimming is this interesting sport where your body is your vessel,” Magnussen said on SEN 1170.

“How heavy you are directly impacts your flotation in the water.

“Where this is a really delicate matter is that there are few sports that are weight dependent that are also unisex.

“Sitting within that [skin-fold] group now will be some guys and girls. Some of those girls may be 15 or 16 years of age.

“That feedback is suddenly taken very differently.

“I’ve never been a fan of bringing people down and using negative feedback to get outcomes.

“If there are coaches out there who are saying that ‘your body looks like a sausage roll’ or ‘you are too fat, lay off the dessert’, weed them out.

“There is no place for that in the sport.”

The review also found a lack of female coaches and a culture of silence surrounding women’s health and unwanted touching.

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