Ohio State Expands Sexual Misconduct Investigation Of Former Sports Doctor

May 3, 2018

The Ohio State University announced Thursday that a former wrestling physician being investigated for sexual misconduct also treated student athletes involved in at least seven other varsity sports.

Last month, Ohio State announced it was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against former wrestling physician Richard Strauss. Strauss was employed by the university from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. He died in 2005. 

Since then, the university has learned Strauss also worked at Ohio State's medical center and student health center. Investigators received confidential reports from student-athletes involved in cheerleading, fencing, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming and volleyball.

Ohio State has changed law firms to conduct an independent investigation. The Ohio Attorney General's Office appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP as legal counsel for the university after a legal conflict precluded Bricker & Eckler LLP from leading the investigation. Porter Wright appointed Perkins Coie LLP to conduct an investigation, and its work is in progress. 

Any potential criminal investigation will be handled by Columbus Police and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. 

A former student wrestler, Michael DiSabato, said he had brought allegations to the university's attention years before. In an interview with WOSU, he said he was assaulted by Strauss repeatedly.

"Dr. Strauss was a serial offender of making athletes remove their pants for a nose cold, a knee sprain, an elbow bruise," DiSabato said. "My experience is not atypical. I think there's over 1,000 athletes at Ohio State University who have suffered the same kind of humiliating abuse."