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Posted: Friday, February 1st 2002 at 5:06pm

Korbut arrested on shoplifting charges

NORCROSS, Ga. - Olympic gymnastics great Olga Korbut was arrested on charges she shoplifted $19 worth of groceries from a supermarket.

She is charged with misdemeanor shoplifting, accused of swiping cheese, chocolate syrup, figs, a box of tea and seasoning mix Thursday night, according to the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court.

A man who answered the phone at the 46-year-old Korbut's home Friday said she declined comment. Korbut's manager, Kay Weatherford, said it's all a misunderstanding.

"She's embarrassed," Weatherford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But she thinks it's ridiculous."

Korbut gained fame as a pigtailed 17-year-old, winning three gold medals for the Soviet Union at the 1972 Munich Olympics. She won a fourth gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Games.

Korbut has lived in Gwinnett County for about 11 years and has worked as a coach at various gyms. She currently coaches gymnastics in Dunwoody.

Korbut told her manager she mistakenly left her wallet in her car and wheeled her shopping cart to the door of the Norcross grocery with intentions of returning to pay for the items, Weatherford said.

"She was at the door and they just assumed she was taking the buggy with her," she said.

An off-duty sheriff's deputy working as a security officer said she saw Korbut shoving the items inside her purse before walking out of the store around 5:30 p.m. and made the arrest, court records show.

Korbut was released from jail at 11:30 p.m. Thursday after paying the $600 bond in cash.

Associated Categories: State News

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