USA Gymnastics tried to silence top athletes after they reported being molested by team doctor Larry Nassar and as they pushed to meet with law enforcement officials, the gymnasts and their family members told NBC News.Claims that the sports federation stressed discretion above all else are bolstered by text messages, emails and other materials reviewed by NBC News during a months-long investigation for a special edition of Dateline that aired Sunday.
Some former Olympians told NBC News that the high-pressure atmosphere is what helped them to succeed, but others said it took an emotional toll."Me and the girls used to call it torture camp," Maroney said.
In recent months, gymnasts have come forward with complaints about the ranch and the Karolyis: the accommodations were substandard; the food was terrible; they were berated and body-shamed.
But questions continue to swirl about how he could have preyed on so many.
In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it "supports and is fully cooperating with the various investigations that may shine light on how abuse of the proportion attributed to Nassar would have gone undetected for so long."Read USA Gymnastics' full statement here Some gymnasts say part of the answer lies at the Karolyi ranch, which Bela and Martha purchased in 1983 after they defected from Romania and imported their rigorous and highly successful training system to the United States.
Geddert didn't respond to requests for comment, and USA Gymnastics said it never heard about the incident.