On April 5, The Ohio State University announced that it had hired an outside investigator to conduct an independent inquiry into accusations of sexual misconduct against a former university and athletic department doctor.
Allegations against Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, have been reported to the university ranging in time “from the mid-1970s to the 1990s” and reportedly involve athletes from the cheerleading, fencing, football, gymnastics, hockey, swimming, volleyball, and wrestling programs. In addition to treating student-athletes, Strauss also worked at the university medical center and student health center.
In a statement sent yesterday to university students and employees, OSU president Michael Drake said, “These allegations are disturbing to us all. A safe and healthy climate for students, faculty, staff and visitors is always our top priority.”
Drake also provided an update on the investigation, and encouraged anyone with information on the situation to contact the investigating law firm, Perkins Coie.
In the accompanying update, the university says that the Columbus Division of Police and the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office have been kept informed for any potential criminal investigation. Also, the Ohio Attorney General’s office has provided resources from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
According to the Associated Press, Strauss was an associate professor of medicine at Ohio State, and worked for the Olympics in 1984. He also reportedly studied injury rates of wrestlers and the effects of steroids on athletes, amongst other things.