Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed a vapor cartridge containing cannabis oil.
Russian media have reported that the arrest of WNBA star Brittney Griner has been extended until May 19, a news that could lead to the two-time Olympic champion being detained for at least three months before her case is resolved.
Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in mid-February after Russian authorities said a search of his luggage revealed vaping cartridges allegedly containing cannabis-derived oil, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The case of Griner, 31, one of the most recognizable players in women’s basketball, comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The court granted the request for an investigation and extended the detention period for U.S. citizen Griner until May 19,” the court said, according to state news agency Tass.
The U.S. embassy in Moscow did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press for comment.
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The U.S. State Department has been “doing its best to support Brittney Griner in supporting her family and working with them to do all we can, to see that she is treated properly, and to seek her release,” he said. on Tuesday spokesman Ned Price. at an information meeting. He cited privacy considerations for not giving further details.
Ekaterina Kalugina, of the Regional Public Monitoring Commission, a state-backed panel in Russia that monitors prisoners’ conditions, told Tass that Griner shared a cell with two other detainees charged with drug offenses.
Griner’s cellmates spoke English and were helping him communicate with the detention center staff and obtain books, Kalugina said.
“The only objective problem turned out to be the height of the basketball player,” Tass told Kalugina about the 6-foot-9 Griner.
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Griner won two Olympic gold medals with the United States, a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury and a national championship in Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star. The WNBA season opens on May 6th.
She was one of dozens of WNBA players who played in Russia or Ukraine last season. All but Griner have marched since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Griner 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. She was arrested in Moscow on her return to Russia.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined a growing contingent of family, friends and officials calling for her release with a Tweet “Free Brittney”. Wednesday.
It is unclear how much progress is being made on the case because Griner’s group has been trying to work quietly for his release and has refused to speak publicly since his arrest was made public earlier this month.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle, thanked everyone for their support, but also said nothing more on social media.
“Everyone is getting the strategy to say less and push more in private behind the scenes,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told AP on Wednesday. “It’s the strategy that the State Department and the administration are getting. It’s our number one priority when talking to it. Agents and strategists.”
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Brittney Griner’s detention was extended until May 19, according to the report
Source link Brittney Griner’s detention was extended until May 19, according to the report