Legendary U.S. gymnastics coaches Marta and Bela Karolyi have broken their silence about the alleged sexual abuse of young athletes at the hands of doctor Larry Nassar to say they knew nothing about it.
A number of gymnasts have said they were molested at the Karolyi ranch in Huntsville, Texas, which served until January as the national gymnastics training center. The Karolyis trained champion gymnasts for decades, but are no longer affiliated with USA Gymnastics, one of many ramifications in the scandal. Authorities raided the ranch in January.
Nassar is accused of abusing more than 100 children during exams that were ostensibly for medical treatment. Citing testimony in Nassar's sentencing, Marta Karolyi said that even parents in the same therapy room were unaware that Nassar was abusing their children.
"The parent couldn't see. How I could see?" she told Savannah Guthrie for "Dateline," in the couple's first interview since the gymnastics scandal broke.
The Karolyis also decried what Nassar did and expressed sympathy for the gymnasts who were abused.
"Even if they have big names or they have no names, any child who was violated by Nassar, it's a crime and it's so sad," Marta Karolyi said.
Nassar, who worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after he admitted criminal sexual conduct in connection with minors and possessing child pornography. A slew of top officials have been ousted from both institutions in the wake of the revelations.
This week, several gymnasts filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics and other organizations about the sexual abuse. USA Gymnastics didn't comment on the lawsuit.
"The whole thing is just like an explosion, a bomb exploding. Boom," Bela Karolyi said.
Guthrie's full interview with the Karolyis will air Sunday on "Dateline."