Andy Hrovat wrestling Mo Lawal at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Andy Hrovat, former University of Michigan NCAA All-American wrestler who also competed in international freestyle (including the 2008 Olympics), this week became the first Wolverine athlete to publicly reveal that he had been abused by a university doctor at the Ann Arbor school twenty years ago.
Earlier this week, at least a half-dozen other former Michigan athletes stated that they had been abused by a school doctor, some cases going back more than a half-century.
The doctor implicated in the reports, Robert E. Anderson, was a former director of the University Health Service at Michigan, spending years as a top physician for various Wolverine intercollegiate sports teams from 1968 until his retirement in 2003. He died in 2008.
According to the Detroit News, the University of Michigan said it was first alerted to allegations against Anderson in July 2018, when a former student athlete wrote to Athletic Director Warde Manuel to detail abuse during medical exams by Anderson in the early 1970s.
The school issued a press release calling for any victims of Anderson's alleged misconduct -- including sexual abuse, as well as unneeded or unwanted exams -- to contact the university.
"I would like to let people know that it's OK to come out," Hrovat said in an interview from his attorney's office in Denver on Thursday, Feb. 20. "It's OK to let your voice be heard."
Hrovat posted this plea on his Facebook page the same day:
"If any of my fellow Michigan Wrestling alumni who saw Doc A and knew what he was doing wasn't right I have a friend who is taking clients for the case against the university. I told this lawyer years ago when the MSU [Michigan State] case [regarding Dr. Larry Nasser and women's gymnasts] opened that UM would eventually have this on their hands.
"Contact me if you want his information.
"When I was a freshman in 1998 it was common knowledge that Doc A was a creep and it was treated as a joke within the athletic department. Athletes who went in for sickness or injury the doc made you take your pants off to check your genitals. His excuse was that was his 'specialty.'"
"This has nothing to do with your love for the University and the wrestling team or the great friends we made through the program. This is about a hypocritical university that sets one standard for student athletes and another set of standards for their own actions.
"Already the administration is lying about when they knew about this. The deed as already been done and turning a blind eye to justice would show to the university that there are no consequences for their covering up of a creepy doctor."
The allegations involving Anderson and student-athletes at University of Michigan from decades ago has parallels to what happened to the south at another Big Ten school, with Ohio State doctor Richard Strauss being accused of sexually abusing at least 177 student-athletes -- the largest group being Buckeye wrestlers -- from 1978 to 1998.