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Wednesday
May022018

Karolyis suing USA Gymnastics for $1M after refusal to buy training facility

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Bela and Martha Karolyi are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics after the organizations told the gymnastics icons they no longer wanted to purchase the Karolyis' training facility.

Citing negligence, the U.S. Olympic Committee wrote in a Feb. 6 letter that any agreement to buy the so-called Karolyi Ranch in Texas was invalid because of crimes committed there by Larry Nassar, who also worked for Michigan State University.

The USOC and USAG wrote in that letter that although it wasn't alleging "any direct claims" against BMK, the Karoylis' organization, "employees and agents of BMK who worked at the Karolyi Ranch, through their actions and inactions, were negligent in their supervision of athletes, which caused the Plaintiffs in the Lawsuits to suffer bodily injury."

The Karolyis, themselves involved in other lawsuits linked to allegedly mistreating gymnasts and creating or supporting an environment that allowed Nassar to abuse more than 250 young women for decades, said in court documents that a 2016 agreement to sell their 36.2-acre property for more than $3 million is still valid.

Part of their argument is that U.S. Gymnastics agreed to the purchase after learning in 2015 of Nassar's behavior, for which he was sentenced to hundreds of years in prison.

"USAG's termination of the Purchase Agreement based upon a stigma associated with the land is not a valid excuse for termination, because USAG knew there were allegations that its agent, Larry Nassar, had sexually assaulted gymnasts at the NTTC in 2015 -- a year before the contract was signed," court records show.

The Karolyis are seeking $1 million in damages.

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