Bela, Martha Karolyi Deny Knowledge of Larry Nassar Abuse at Training Ranch

22 April, 2018, 07:08 | Author: Stuart Potter
  • Bonnie Knutson and Michael Kaplowitz

Now they are women with lifelong injuries, suffocating anxiety and debilitating eating disorders.

A former gymnast filed the lawsuit against USA Gymnastics in 2013.

Thirteen former US gymnasts and three coaches interviewed by The Associated Press described a win-at-all-costs culture rife with verbal and emotional abuse in which girls were forced to train on broken bones and other injuries.

"That's bad", Marta Karolyi said.

Martha and Bela Karolyi of the infamous Karolyi Ranch, an elite gymnastics training center that's sent dozens of athletes to the Olympics, have finally broken their silence about former USA Gymnastics team doctor and convicted child molester Larry Nassar.

The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics.

When asked if she'd been aware of any sexual misconduct by Nassar prior to that point, Martha said, "Absolutely not".

Nassar was already established in the program when Martha Karolyi took over the national team. "He got what he wanted". It alleged the organization that trains Olympians received at least four warnings about a coach who videotaped her in various states of undress.

USA Gymnastics declined to answer questions for this story, and the Karolyis didn't reply to requests for comment.

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Some female gymnasts in the US were subjected to abusive training methods before the Karolyis defected from their native Romania in 1981.

The ranch was built by Bela Karolyi in the 1980s, and he and his wife trained many Olympic gymnastics stars there, from Dominique Moceanu in the early 1990s to Simone Biles, star of the 2016 Olympics.

Nassar spent almost three decades at USA Gymnastics before being fired in 2015 after complaints about his behaviour. They selected gymnasts for the national team and earned millions from USA Gymnastics.

This is the first time the couple is speaking out since USA Gymnastics cut ties with the training facility in January.

It's unclear what the Karolyis knew about Nassar's sexual abuse and whether they took any action to stop it.

Martha Karolyi, who led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the 2016 Rio Olympics, tells NBC News that "the whole gymnastics community" could not recognize Nassar's criminal behavior.

Manly cited the deposition in accusing the sport's governing body of lying to Congress.

Nassar sexually assaulted patients under the guise of medical treatment, but Martha said she never witnessed it occurring at the Karolyi Ranch: "I heard during the testimonies that some of the parents were in the therapy room with their own child and Larry Nassar was performing this-and the parent couldn't see".

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