Brittney Griner’s Detention in Russia Extended

A Russian court extended on Tuesday the pre-trial detention of US basketball star Brittney Griner on drug smuggling charges. 

“The court granted the investigation’s petition and extended the detention of U.S. citizen Griner for 18 days until July 2,” said a spokesperson of the Khimki court in the Moscow region. 

According to reports, Griner could face a jail sentence of up to ten years in Russia if convicted.  

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and Womens National Basketball Association (WNBA) champion also plays in the Russian league during the WNBA offseason to supplement her income. 

Reports said Griner was on her way to play for UNMC Yekaterinburg in February when she was arrested and detained at a Moscow airport on charges of carrying vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage. 

Last month, the US State Department said Russia wrongfully detained Griner. 

On Monday, a special envoy and State Department officials met with Griner’s Phoenix Mercury teammates and coach to discuss efforts to secure Griner’s release. 

Earlier, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that speculation of a prisoner exchange involving Griner was still premature. 


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