Six former Ohio State University wrestlers said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was aware of the abuse team members were subject to at the hands of a university doctor. 

Tito Vazquez, who had wrestled for Ohio State University three decades ago, said that when the team doctor insisted on examining his genitals when he had gone in for a bloody nose, was told by Jordan that he had “nothing to do with this” and dismissed his complaints. 

Jordan has been accused by many former teammates of ignoring their reports and complaints.

Richard Strauss, the team doctor at the time, has been accused by several teammates of sexual misconduct. Jordan was one of the team coaches while the abuse was happening, but has adamantly denied knowing of it since 2018 when OSU announced they would investigate allegations against Strauss. An independent report form ordered by the university found that Strauss “sexually abused at least 177 male student-patients” between 1979 and 1998. He died by suicide in 2005.

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A number of lawsuits have been filed against the university by former wrestlers who accused the university of putting them in danger. It was announced on Friday that OSU reached a settlement in 11 out of 18 cases. 

Jordan has never admitted to knowing of the abuse. In 2018, his congressional office said, “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.”

Vazquez told CNN that he doesn’t believe these claims, adding, “When these complaints come and he pretends now that he had no knowledge of it, that’s betrayal in the highest level.”

The independent report did not reach a conclusion on whether or not Jordan was aware of the abuse, but did mention that “numerous” student athletes “talked about Strauss’ inappropriate genital exams and complained about Strauss’ locker room and shower room voyeurism, directly to—or in front of—OSU coaching staff.” It also concluded that 22 unnamed coaches were aware of the rumors and complaints surrounding the doctor. 

Since the report’s release, other former wrestlers have come forward to testify at the Ohio statehouse about the abuse. In an interview last week, Jordan again denied any knowledge of the incidents and suggested that some were testifying against him to receive settlement money. 

“The idea that I wouldn’t stand up for these athletes is ridiculous,” Jordan said. “I feel sorry for these guys, the fact that they aren’t telling the truth. I mean these are guys I trained with, these are guys I worked out with, I ran with, wrestled with, and the idea that now they are saying what they are, it’s just not true.”

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