[CW: The following article details accusations of sexual abuse on a university campus]
According to WZZM 13 Andy Hrovat, who represented the USA in wrestling at the 2008 Olympics, is one of seven people accusing Dr. Robert E. Anderson of sexual abuse. Hrovat claims that Anderson, a former director of University Health Service at the University of Michigan, abused him in 1999; during his freshman year at UM.
Hrovat is the first athlete to make public claims against Anderson. Anderson worked with UM athletic teams between 1968 and 2003. He died in 2008.
The Detroit News reported that UM has started an investigation into claims against Anderson. UM has stated that they were first alerted to allegations against Anderson in July 2018 after a student athlete contacted Athletic Director Warde Manuel to detail abuse suffered during medical exams in the early 1970s.
When he spoke to The Detroit News about his claims, Horvat said, “I would like to let people know that it’s OK to come out. It’s OK to let your voice be heard.”
Since accusations naming Anderson became public, John Manly — a lawyer who represented hundreds of victims of the now-imprisoned former Michigan State University sports doctor and USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar — said he has received calls from half a dozen people alleging abuse by Anderson. Most of those calls came from former football players and wrestlers.
UM has set up a hotline for possible victims of Anderson. According to MLive, school officials revealed that 31 calls had been made to the hotline between February 19th and the 21st. The hotline number is 866-990-0111.
Over the weekend The Detroit News released a 124-page police investigative file from 2018 detailing allegations against Anderson. The report was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
In the report investigators reveal that they suspect there may be over 100 victims involved in the case. According to The Detroit News the documents suggest that officials at UM were aware of sexual abuse allegations against Anderson before 2018. Their reporting states that UM fired Anderson from his position at student health services in 1979, but that Anderson continued to treat UM students for another 24 years.
The kinds of allegations levied against both Anderson and UM have many similarities to the situation currently being investigated at Ohio State University (OSU). At least 177 individuals, many of whom are former student athletes and wrestlers, have accused former team doctor Richard Strauss of molesting them during medical exams.
Strauss died by suicide in 2005. His accusers have claimed that OSU did not do enough to protect students. Some of his accusers have also claimed that former assistant wrestling coach Jim Jordan — now a US congressman — knew about the abuse and did not act. Jordan has denied these claims.
Survivors of sexual assault in the US can find support via the following organizations:
US – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)’s National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also has an online chat service.
Love is Respect, 1-866-331-9474. They can also be reached via online chat or by texting LOVEIS to 22522.
End Rape on Campus (EROC), 1-424-777-EROC (3762).
Canada – Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, 1-877-232-2610.
UK and Ireland – UK Says No More.
Rest of the World – International Rapes Crisis Hotlines.
About the author