Britney Griner’s Detention Extended by Russia

A Russian court has extended the detention of U.S. basketball star Britney Griner on Friday until June 18.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and star center with the Phoenix Mercury, was detained at the Moscow airport in February after Russian authorities found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner had just arrived in Russia to play in the country’s professional women’s basketball league for UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Alexander Boikov, Griner’s Moscow lawyer, said the judge announced a snap hearing during which the judge prolonged the 31-year-old athlete’s detention ahead of a trial on drug possession charges until June 18.

“It could take longer. It could happen quicker,” Boikov said.

The U.S. government ruled that Griner was wrongfully detained and transferred responsibility for her case from consular affairs to a special envoy for hostage matters earlier this month.

The drug charges on Griner carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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