Games tilt in doubt for Groves
AUSTRALIA could be without Olympic medallist Madeline Groves at the Commonwealth Games after a series of setbacks over the past year.
Groves, 22, successfully fought a potential ban from swimming world body FINA, who had moved to sanction the Rio silver medallist after she missed three drug tests.
She was facing a one-year ban for missing three tests after allegedly failing to update her “whereabouts” but her lawyer successfully argued the validity of the third strike, where drug testers failed to find her at San Diego University.
But Groves has had further pitfalls on the road to the Gold Coast Games, including surgery late last year to treat endometriosis.
She has only recently returned to training with coach Michael Bohl on the Gold Coast and while she’s entered events at the Games trials in three weeks’ time, the pair are yet to decide whether she will compete.
“She’s had a couple of setbacks with the health issues on the back of the drugs thing last year,” Bohl said.
While she would be an asset to Australia in the pool, Bohl said ensuring Groves remained in the sport was more important than pushing her to compete at the Commonwealth Games if she was not ready.
“We don’t want to lose someone of her ability three years out from Tokyo,” he said.
“The first priority is her health. Once that’s right, we can manage how to train at a good level. We don’t want to lose an athlete of that calibre.”
PITFALLS: Madeline Groves with her Rio silver medal.