Mark Coleman, a former wrestler at Ohio State University, who went on to become an Olympian and UFC champion, this week revealed that he was one of Dr. Richard Strauss's victims in the late 1980s. Dr. Strauss, the former OSU wrestling team doctor, was accused of sexually abusing several of the OSU wrestlers. He eventually killed himself in 2005. In his announcement about being a victim, Coleman appeared to suggest that former OSU assistant wrestling coach and current Congressman Jim Jordan knew something about the abuse.
“There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State,” Coleman said of Jordan during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
When media outlets and a fellow wrestler took that to mean Jordan is guilty, Coleman quickly corrected the reports.
“At no time did I ever say or have any direct knowledge that Jim Jordan knew of Dr. Richard Strauss’s inappropriate behavior,” Coleman said in a statement Friday. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Jordan as I have known him for more than 30 years and know him to be of impeccable character.”
One of his fellow former wrestlers, Mike DiSabato, has had no issue trying to connect Jordan with scandal in recent weeks. Jordan, he's told media, must have known what was going on because he had a locker right next to Strauss. Yet, Jordan is adamant that he did not know.
DiSabato also tried to speak on behalf of Coleman, which did not sit well with the former UFC champ.
“Mike DiSabato and his PR representative have released information and made statements publicly without my authorization and, in my opinion, are using them to exploit and embarrass The Ohio State University," Coleman said. “I am distancing myself from Mike DiSabato as he is not my manager and does not speak for me. I am also disappointed with many of the public statements made by Mr. DiSabato and his personal attacks on individuals employed by the university and others."
New reports suggest Strauss's history of abuse goes back to the 1970s. Coleman wants to seek justice in this case like everyone else.
“I was a victim of Dr. Strauss and like many others, I wish to cooperate with the investigation to see that whatever justice is available is achieved.”