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USA Gymnastics Backs Out of Karolyi Ranch Purchase
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USA Gymnastics will not purchase Bela and Marta Karolyi's Texas ranch that has served as the national team training center for more than 15 years, the federation announced Tuesday.

USA Gymnastics will not purchase Bela and Marta Karolyi's Texas ranch that has served as the women's national team training center for more than 15 years, the federation announced Tuesday.


Marta Karolyi, now retired, pictured at the Karolyi ranch in Texas

In July 2016, USA Gymnastics announced it would purchase the property in Huntsville, located in the Sam Houston National Forest, but instead, its board of directors is pulling the plug on that plan. It is currently leasing the ranch.

"The decision was made for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to unexpected financial expenditures associated with the purchase," according to a USA Gymnastics statement.

The Karolyis began buying land on the isolated site in 1983, and for many years operated their own private gymnastics summer camps there in addition to Karolyi's Gymnastics Club in Houston. National team training camps were sometimes held there as well before Marta was named national team coordinator in 2001. She retired after last summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and was succeeded by Valeri Liukin.

The property has been expanded and improved several times since it became the women's national team training center in 2000, with additional facilities built for trampoline, tumbling and rhythmic gymnastics. (The men's training center is at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.)

The ranch has been part of the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal that began making headlines last summer. At least four athletes—1999 World team member Jeanette Antolin, 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzscher, rhythmic national champion Jessica Howard and an unnamed member of the 2010 World Championships team—have alleged that they were sexually assaulted there by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during unsupervised medical treatment. Nassar, who has since had his medical license stripped by the state of Michigan, is in a Michigan jail facing state and federal charges and civil lawsuits.

According to past USA Gymnastics financial statements, the federation paid the Karolyis several hundreds thousands of dollars a year for use of the ranch's facilities. The amount the federation had planned to pay for the purchased has not been announced. It is currently operating under a lease and will continue to use the ranch while searching for an alternative site, USA Gymnastics stated.

The ranch became an official U.S. Olympic Team training center in 2011.

External Link: USA Gymnastics

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