WALKER COUNTY, Texas – Sentencing continues this week for disgraced USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls in Michigan. However, more than half a dozen Olympic athletes, including Simone Biles, allege the abuse also happened in Texas at the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville.
The Walker County Sheriff’s Office confirms it is actively investigating what happened on the property in the Sam Houston National Forest.
Coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi originally bought the ranch as a hunting property. Eventually, they began bringing gymnasts there to train.
Monthly training camps for the national team began there in January 2000, after Bela Karolyi became national team coordinator, and continued after Martha replaced him the next year. The ranch was expanded over the years, and it was designated as a U.S. Olympic Training Site in 2011.
With Martha Karolyi retiring after the Rio Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced in July 2016 that it had reached an agreement with the Karolyis to buy part of the ranch and continue using it as the national team training center.
However, the federation backed out of the deal after allegations about Nassar surfaced.
It wasn’t until last week that USA Gymnastics announced it would no longer hold its training camps at the Karolyi Ranch.
In an Instagram post in which she acknowledged being abused by Nassar, Simone Biles said having to go back to the ranch would further traumatize her.
“It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused,” she wrote.
A camp scheduled to begin Monday at the ranch has been canceled, according to USA Gymnastics. The federation is looking for alternative training sites until a new permanent facility is found.