Those accusations ensnared Mr. Jordan, Republican of Ohio, last July. He mounted an aggressive defense, maintaining that not only was he unaware of the abuse, but also that his accusers were politically motivated. The conservative public relations firm Shirley & Banister Public Affairs circulated statements of support to reporters from wrestlers defending Mr. Jordan and claiming that the accusers were “seeing dollar signs.”
But the report released on Friday, the culmination of a yearlong investigation in which more than 500 people were interviewed, found that 22 coaches confirmed they were “aware of rumors and/or complaints about Strauss.” Mr. Jordan was interviewed by investigators in Ohio in July, a spokesman confirmed last summer.
“I thought that the lawyer who did that handled it the proper way, and we told him the same thing we’ve told everyone in a public way,” Mr. Jordan said on “The Bob Frantz Authority” radio show.
But many of Dr. Strauss’s victims painted a picture of abuse widely known and unaddressed.
“From my experience, it was so publicly acknowledged within that community that I felt like it was open, public, acceptable behavior,” Mike Glane, who wrestled at the university from 1993 to 1998 and was interviewed by investigators, said Friday in an interview. “I didn’t even think about reporting it.”
Mr. Yetts said that Mr. Jordan not only knew of allegations of sexual misconduct when he was an assistant wrestling coach at the university, but he personally confronted the team doctor accused of sexually abusing athletes.
Mr. Yetts has spoken of episodes with Dr. Strauss before, including his charge that Mr. Jordan had confronted the doctor. But in an interview, the former wrestler went into far more detail on at least three specific events in which Mr. Jordan was told of the misconduct. The episodes, as described by Mr. Yetts, challenge both the narrative that Mr. Jordan turned a blind eye to abuse, and the congressman’s own statements that he knew nothing about it.
Mr. Jordan did, in fact, try to deal with the doctor, according to Mr. Yetts, in November 1992, after he was first examined by Dr. Strauss after transferring from Purdue University. Mr. Yetts had received physicals from doctors at Purdue, so he said he was alarmed after Dr. Strauss groped and painstakingly examined his genitals.