AUSTIN -- (KXAN/AP) -- A renowned gymnastics training center outside of Houston is now under scrutiny after athletes recently came forward claiming they were sexually assaulted there.
On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott requested the Texas Rangers launch an investigation into the allegations at the Karolyi Ranch, which is just outside of Huntsville, amid the conviction and sentencing of gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Karolyi Ranch is owned and operated by Béla and Martha Károlyi and previously served as the National Training Center for U.S.A. Gymnastics.
“Considering that criminal action has been implicated across multiple jurisdictions and states, it is essential that the Texas Rangers work with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office to comprehensively investigate all potential criminal conduct,” wrote Abbott in a letter to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Over the past several decades, the Karolyi Ranch has become a mainstay for producing champions. Olympic champion Simone Biles started training there in 2011.
Biles came forward as a Nassar victim on Jan. 15 and wondered why she had to continue to train at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas, a place where she said Nassar abused her earlier in her career.
The AP reports USA Gymnastics announced shortly after Biles’ critique it was ending its long relationship with the Karolyi Ranch. The board’s executive officers stepped down on Monday and the rest of the group will now follow suit.
Bela Karolyi’s Camp posted on its website that it was ending its yearly camp after nearly four decaes of “spiriting young gymnasts towards greatness in sport.”
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KRON / Washington County Sheriff's Office