USA Gymnastics cancels Karolyi ranch purchase
USA Gymnastics canceled its agreement to purchase Bela and Martha Karolyi‘s training facility in Texas.
“The decision was made for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to unexpected financial expenditures associated with the purchase,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement Tuesday.
USA Gymnastics, which holds women’s national team camps at the Karolyi ranch, is continuing under its current lease agreement while exploring alternative locations for camps.
USA Gymnastics announced last July that it reached an agreement to purchase 36.2 acres of the 2,000-acre Karolyi ranch in Huntsville, Texas, including three training gyms, housing for up to 300 athletes and coaches as well as a dance studio, dining hall, medical and rehab facilities and recreational areas.
In the time between USA Gymnastics announced the ranch purchase and its cancellation Tuesday, former gymnasts claimed they were sexually abused at the ranch years ago by former team doctor Larry Nassar. One lawsuit named the Karolyis, who live at the ranch, alleging they turned a blind eye to molestations.
Nassar is accused of sexually assaulting athletes while working at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. He pleaded not guilty.
The Karolyis defected from Romania to the U.S. in 1981. The ranch, established an hour north of Houston in 1983, played a vital part in U.S. gymnastics’ rise from also-ran to dominant force. Martha Karolyi stepped down as national team coordinator after the Rio Olympics.
When Martha Karolyi was elevated to national team coordinator in 2001, she installed a centralized system that required national team members to make regular visits to the ranch for training and to foster a team environment that can be difficult to cultivate in an individual sport.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.