USA Gymnastics cuts ties with Karolyi Ranch training facility

Raisman determined to make sure future generations are safe (6:43)

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman joins OTL to speak out about the abuse caused by Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics' response to the allegations. (6:43)

LANSING, Mich. -- USA Gymnastics announced Thursday that it will cut ties with the Karolyi Ranch, a longtime training ground for the country's elite gymnasts and also a site where former national medical coordinator Larry Nassar sexually assaulted gymnasts.

"It has been my intent to terminate this agreement since I began as president and CEO [of USA Gymnastics] in December," said Kerry Perry, who was present earlier this week to listen to women deliver impact statements during a sentencing hearing for Nassar. "Our most important priority is our athletes, and their training environment must reflect this. We are committed to a culture that empowers and supports our athletes.

"We have canceled next week's training camp for the U.S. women's national team. We are exploring alternative sites to host training activities and camps until a permanent location is determined. We thank all those in the gymnastics community assisting in these efforts."

In recent days, Simone Biles, a gold medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympics who said Nassar abused her at the Karolyi Ranch, questioned why she should have to return there to train.

"It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart even more to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused," Biles wrote.

Former Olympians Jamie Dantzscher and McKayla Maroney both offered impact statements in a county court Thursday morning as part of Nassar's sentencing hearing in Lansing, Michigan. Dantzscher appeared in person while Maroney had her statement read to the court.

The disgraced doctor pleaded guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct in November. More than 150 women have accused him of assault, including several former prominent members of the USA Gymnastics program.

Several of the women who spoke out about Nassar said he earned their trust by playing the "good cop" alongside demanding and demeaning coaches, including ranch owners and former Olympic coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi. Nassar sneaked them snacks that broke the camp's strict diet rules.

While Nassar was supposed to be treating them in their rooms at the ranch, the women say he sexually assaulted them.

In the late spring of 2015, inside the Karolyi Ranch, visiting coach Sarah Jantzi overheard a troubling conversation. Maggie Nichols, Jantzi's star gymnast who, at 14, made the U.S. women's national team, was speaking with Aly Raisman, captain of the 2012 and 2016 gold-medal-winning Olympic teams.

Raisman told Outside the Lines that Nichols described treatment sessions she had with Nassar to her. Jantzi became so concerned about what she overheard that she notified Nichols' mother and USA Gymnastics officials.

Maggie Nichols said Nassar started sexually abusing her during medical exams at the Karolyi Ranch when she was 15 while being treated for severe back pain.

Raisman said Nassar started abusing her when she was 15. She said he would give her desserts as treats, which were forbidden at the ranch, where the Karolyis closely monitored what the gymnasts ate.

"He was grooming me so he could molest me," Raisman said.

Parents were not allowed to stay with their daughters at the Huntsville, Texas-based training camp. When previously contacted by ESPN for comment on a recent story that outlined the abuse suffered by women under the care of USA Gymnastics, Marta Karolyi declined to comment on behalf of her family.

Perry took over as the CEO of USA Gymnastics after former CEO Steve Penny resigned amid backlash from the sexual assault scandals surrounding the organization.

Dantzscher, Maroney and others who offered statements for the sentencing hearing this week have said they hold the organization partially responsible for turning a blind eye to Nassar's abuse.