Russian Court Extends Arrest of U.S. Basketball Star Brittney Griner Over Drugs Charge

A Russian court on March 17 extended the arrest of American basketball star Brittney Griner for another two months on drug charges, Russian-state news agency TASS reported.

A court in the town of Khimki outside Moscow extended Griner’s arrest until May 19, TASS reported, citing court officials.

Russian authorities arrested Griner on Feb. 17 on charges of smuggling significant amounts of narcotic substance at a Moscow airport, which carry a maximum 10-year jail sentence.

Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of Russia’s Public Monitoring Commission, which observes treatment of prisons, told TASS that the United States consul has not visited Griner despite the Russian authorities being willing to “create all conditions” for their visit.

U.S. Representative Colin Allred told ESPN last week that Griner had not been granted consular access, which he described as “really unusual.”

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told BBC that they have been in touch with Griner “providing all forms of appropriate support, and will continue to do that.”

Kalugina also said that Griner shares a cell with two other women with no previous convictions.

In a video surveillance footage, Griner a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was seen walking through security at a Moscow airport with a small, black suitcase — one of the last public sightings of her.

Griner, 31, went to Russia to play during the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Association’s off-season. She currently plays for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg.


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