Former UFC world heavyweight champion Mark Coleman became the fifth former Ohio State University wrestler to claim that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a former OSU assistant wrestling coach, knew about the sexual abuse by a team doctor, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Mark Coleman, who reportedly roomed with Jordan on more than one road trip while they were at the school in the 1990s, said there is “no way” Jordan didn’t know what was going on.
“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 told the Journal. “I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”
Jordan has repeatedly denied any knowledge of sexual abuse by former Ohio State team doctor Richard Strauss, who committed suicide in 2005. Athletes from 14 sports have reported sexual misconduct by Strauss to the university.
Jordan reinforces denial
Jordan told Politico on Tuesday that he would have taken action if he had known about Strauss’ alleged misconduct, but maintained that he was fully unaware even as former athletes say it was an open secret within the athletic department.
“It’s not true. I never knew about any type of abuse,” Jordan told Politico. “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.”
President Donald Trump backed up Jordan on Thursday, saying he believed Jordan didn’t know about any sexual abuse.
“I don’t believe them at all. I believe [Jordan],” Trump said. “Jim Jordan is one of the most outstanding people I’ve met since I’ve been in Washington. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind.”
Threats against the congressman?
An aide for Jordan told the Journal that former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato, who has led the effort to expose Strauss’ sexual abuse and who brought up Jordan as having knowledge, has sent Jordan threatening texts and emails over the situation.
The aide said Jordan’s office contacted Capitol Police about the threats, which DiSabato denies having made.
Ohio State is investigating the growing allegations against the late team doctor, which DiSabato has been attempting to make more public. DiSabato said he was motivated by the conviction of former Team USA and Michigan State gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.