Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday directed state authorities to investigate the allegations that former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar abused athletes at the Karolyi Ranch training facility in Huntsville.
The complex was opened by celebrated gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi in the mid 1980s and played a vital role in making the US women's team a dominant force in global competitions.
Last week, disgraced longtime USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, 54, was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for abusing young female gymnasts who were entrusted to his care.
He also said the athletes who trained at the ranch "deserve to know that no stone is left unturned". "The people of Texas demand, and the victims deserve, nothing less", Abbott said.
Abbott noted that multiple athletes have said they had been sexually abused while training at the Texas facility.
The Walker County Sheriff's Office confirmed to KBTX on January 19 they had an open criminal investigation, but did not offer any additional details about the investigation.
Gov. Abbott orders investigation into Karolyi Ranch
"There is an eerie feeling as soon as you step foot onto the Karolyi Ranch", gymnast Mattie Larson said during Nassar's sentencing hearing. "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", noted Abbott. In the case of an emergency, the closest hospital is so far away you need to be helicoptered there.
Others, including Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, have also spoken out about the role the remote ranch played in allowing Nassar to abuse athletes under the guise of medical treatment.
The training facility known for producing world-class gymnasts had been designated as the U.S. women's national gymnastics training center in 2001, and as a U.S. Olympics training site in 2011.
U.S.A. Gymnastics cut ties with the ranch earlier this month after a groundswell of criticism of its handling of the Nassar allegations.
For some three decades, the Karolyi Ranch near this East Texas city kept a secluded, nearly invisible presence in the community.
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