NEW YORK (AP) — Former USA Gymnastics women’s national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband Bela tell NBC they were unaware of the abusive behavior by a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison.
Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the 2016 Rio Olympics. She tells Savannah Guthrie in “no way” did she suspect Larry Nassar was sexually abusing athletes.
The Karolyis spoke as part of a Dateline NBC special scheduled to air Sunday. It takes a look at the fallout from revelations about years of abuse by Nassar against hundreds of former athletes, including several members of the U.S. Olympic team.
The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics. Several victims, including two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney, say they were abused at the Karolyi’s Ranch near Houston. The ranch served as the training home for USA Gymnastics during most of Martha Karolyi’s tenure running the national team.
Nassar spent nearly three decades at USA Gymnastics before being fired in 2015 after complaints about his behavior. He continued to work at Michigan State University through the fall of 2016 before being hit with federal charges. Nassar is now serving decades in prison for molesting women and girls and for possessing child pornography.