Richard Strauss, a former wrestling team physician and an assistant professor of medicine, is being investigated by Ohio State on allegations of sexual misconduct. Credit: 1984 Lantern file photo

Ohio State is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct regarding a former wrestling team physician and an assistant professor of medicine, the university announced in a press release Thursday.

Richard Strauss is facing allegations that extend from the mid-1970s through the late ‘90s. The allegations involve his behavior with athletes and “other acts of sexual misconduct,” the university said in a press release.

The number of allegations has not been made public, but university spokesman Chris Davey said in an email they are from “one individual who alleges that the misconduct affected more than one person.”

In addition to his role at Ohio State, Strauss previously served as team physician for the U.S. wrestling team, according to an obituary. Strauss died in 2005.

The early portions of the investigation include contacting former athletes, coaches and any other people who could have been impacted or are aware of the alleged misconduct.

Law enforcement has been made aware of the inquiry, and Attorney General Mike DeWine has pledged assistance from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation “should it be needed.”

DeWine also appointed an outside law firm, Bricker & Eckler LLP, to conduct “a comprehensive investigation of each and every allegation.”

There are few specifics known about Strauss’ tenure at Ohio State, the university said.

“Dr. Strauss’ exact dates of service in his role as an athletic trainer are not precisely known at this time,” the release said. “The best available information is that he served in this role between the mid-1970s and the late 1990s. Making this determination precisely will be a part of the investigation.”  

In its release, the university initially identified Strauss as a former trainer for the wrestling team, but a newspaper article from Oct. 21, 1982, identified Strauss as the team’s physician and assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine.

A brief online search of journal databases indicates Strauss published research articles with university affiliation from at least Feb. 5, 1973, to June 1, 1989. His research focused on wrestling and youth athletics.

For example, he co-authored a study in 1985 titled, “Anabolic Steroid Use and Perceived Effects in Ten Weight-Trained Women Athletes.”

The investigation comes months after Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor and a physician at Michigan State, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison on charges of sexual assault and misconduct. More than 200 women have accused him of sexual misconduct.

Strauss also was a member of the medical commission of the International Olympic Committee. In 1984, he attended the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles to drug test athletes, according to an archived Lantern article.

The Lantern requested comment from the U.S. Wrestling team and the IOC about the investigation.

Update, April 5 2:56 p.m.: This article has been updated with additional information about Strauss’ career.