Congressman Jim Jordan said he would have reported abuse had he known about it during his time as an Ohio State University wrestling coach.
Former wrestlers allege Jordan, R-Urbana, knew a team doctor sexually abused athletes but failed to report it.
Here’s what we know now about the allegations, Jordan’s response and Ohio State’s ongoing investigation.
1. What are the allegations?
Ohio State in April announced it was investigating accusations against Dr. Richard Strauss, who treated athletes and students as a team doctor in the athletics program and a physician at the student health services center between 1978 and 1996. Jordan worked as an assistant wrestling coach for part of that time. Strauss, who retired as a professor emeritus on July 1, 1998, died in California in 2005.
On Tuesday, former athletes who wrestled for Jordan at Ohio State said he knew Strauss sexually abused athletes, but Jordan failed to report it. NBC News first reported the story.
2. Jordan denies knowledge of the abuse
“It’s not true,” Jordan told Politico. “I never knew about any type of abuse. If I did, I would have done something about it. And look, if there are people who are abused, then that’s terrible and we want justice to happen.”
“We’ve got the truth on our side,” Jordan told the Washington beltway publication.
“I did know Dr. Strauss, he was there when we got to Ohio State,” Jordan said Wednesday in Fremont. “Yeah, I knew the doctor. But there was no truth to the fact that I knew of any abuse … it’s just not accurate to say those things, that we knew about it and didn’t report it, it’s just not true.”
Jordan’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said Jordan had not been contacted by investigators and pledged to assist them.
3. Ohio State says investigators have contacted Jordan
Ohio State announced Tuesday that investigators had reached out to Jordan’s office by email and telephone to request an interview with him.
“To date, Rep. Jordan has not responded to these requests, but we understand from public statements issued on his behalf today that Rep. Jordan is willing to talk to the investigative team,” said Kathleen Trafford, an attorney representing Ohio State in its investigation of Strauss.
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