WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested last month at a Moscow airport after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vaporizer cartridges.
The Russian Customs Service said on Saturday that the cartridges had been identified as cannabis-derived oil, which could carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The customs service identified the detainee as a U.S. women’s national team player and did not specify the date of his arrest. Russian media reported that the player was Griner, and his agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, did not question those reports.
“We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and we are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams and the WNBA and NBA,” Kagawa Colas said on Saturday. “As this is an ongoing legal matter, we cannot comment further on the details of her case, but we can confirm that as we work to take her home, her mental and physical health remains our main concern.”
On Saturday, the State Department issued a warning not to “travel” to Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine and urged all U.S. citizens to leave immediately, citing factors such as “the potential for harassment of U.S. citizens by U.S. officials.” security of the Russian government “and” the limited capacity of the embassy to help “the Americans in Russia.
Griner, who plays in the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has played in Russia for the past seven years in the winter, earning more than $ 1 million a season, more than quadrupling his WNBA salary. She last played for her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on January 29 before the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.
More than a dozen WNBA players have played this winter in Russia and Ukraine, including league MVP Jonquel Jones and Chicago Sky champion Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley. The WNBA confirmed on Saturday that all players except Griner had left both countries.
The 31-year-old Griner has won two Olympic gold medals with the United States, a WNBA championship with Mercury and a national championship in Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star.
“Brittney Griner has the full support of the WNBA and our top priority is her speedy and safe return to the United States,” the league said in a statement.
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Born in Houston, WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia on drug charges
Source link Born in Houston, WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia on drug charges