Bela and Martha Karolyi, Previous Gymnastics Coaches, Deny Understanding About Nassar's Abuse

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With AP Photos.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.

After a series of high-profile trials and victim testimonies, Nassar was sentenced recently to decades behind bars for sexually abusing girls under the guise of medical treatment.

In January, USA Gymnastics said it was cutting all ties with the Karolyi ranch, several returning gymnasts saying it would be hard to train there again after the revelations of Nassar's molestations. "How I could see?"

Guthrie spent hours with the Karolyis at the ranch after the couple agreed to speak publicly for the first time since Martha Karolyi's retirement following the 2016 Olympics.

"The whole thing is just like an explosion, a bomb exploding", Bela Karolyi said.

Marta Karolyi, in a deposition given previous year as part of the lawsuit against the Karolyis and numerous others, acknowledged that "in or around June 2015" she received a phone call from the then-head of the national gymnastics organization, Steve Penny, informing her that the organization had received a complaint that Nassar had "molested a national team gymnast at the ranch".

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Many of those lawsuits stem from Nassar's abuse, with gymnasts accusing USA Gymnastics of negligence, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and failing to warn, train or protect athletes from the disgraced doctor. Many also pointed to the institutional giants Nassar worked for, including USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, as the reason many parents blindly trusted him.

Asked how she feels about claims by some of gymnastics' biggest stars say they were violated on the Karolyi Ranch, Martha Karolyi told Guthrie: "That's very bad". But other coaches and former gymnasts say the Karolyis' early successes - starting with Romania's Nadia Comaneci becoming the first female gymnast awarded a ideal score in competition - validated the cutthroat attitudes that fostered widespread mistreatment of American athletes at the highest levels of women's gymnastics.

“They answered every question, ” Guthrie said. The gymnast's lawyer says USA Gymnastics admits no wrongdoing or liability in the settlement.

"He was their little puppet, " said Jeanette Antolin, a former member of the US national team who trained with the Karolyis. He would visit the ranch during national team training sessions and also accompany the team to events around the world.

Maroney said Nassar earned the trust of numerous girls by sneaking them food outside the strict diet regimen imposed by the Karolyis. “And the parent couldnt see.

"That's bad", Martha Karolyi told NBC, when asked about Nassar's crimes.

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