Jordan rebuffs allegations that he knew of Ohio State abuse: ‘It’s not true’
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday fiercely denied allegations that he failed to stop a sports physician from sexually abusing student athletes at Ohio State University (OSU) when he was a wrestling coach there.
Jordan told Politico in an interview that he would have intervened had he known about the doctor’s alleged behavior.
“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.”
Three former wrestlers at OSU told NBC News that the abuse by the doctor was an open secret and that Jordan almost certainly knew about the alleged behavior.
The doctor, Richard Strauss, would shower with student athletes regularly and would touch them inappropriately during appointments, the former wrestlers told NBC News.
Strauss died in 2005, but the university announced earlier this year that it would investigate the allegations against the physician and whether enough was done to protect the students.
Jordan, who served as an assistant wrestling coach at OSU decades ago, has garnered a reputation as a conservative firebrand in Congress. His office denied previously the allegations in a statement.
“Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” Ian Fury, a spokesman for Jordan, said in a statement.
“He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”
Jordan, a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, responded to a question from Politico on Tuesday about whether he is concerned about the allegations that he ignored the abuse, saying: “We’ve got the truth on our side.”