Brittney Griner’s Pre-Trial Detention Extended Through July 2 by Russian Court
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File
WNBA star Brittney Griner’s pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended once again through July 2.
According to Russian media outlet TASS (h/t Mark Osborne and Deena Zaru of ABC News), a Russian court extended the detention at “the request of the investigation.”
Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow in February for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in the country.
She has been detained for 117 days as of Tuesday, and last month the United States government classified Griner as being “wrongfully detained,” per ESPN’s T.J. Quinn.
Labeling Griner as wrongfully detained allowed the U.S. government to shift its focus in terms of attempting to take steps to bring Griner home as soon as possible rather than allowing the legal process to play out.
Quinn reported that former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, who has years of international hostage negotiating experience, agreed to work on Griner’s case.
Despite the U.S. government’s shift in philosophy and reports of a potential prisoner swap with Russia, Griner remains in custody.
The 31-year-old was a collegiate star at Baylor who has played in the WNBA for the Phoenix Mercury since 2013. She also plays professionally in Russia, which is why she was in the country in February.
As a member of the Mercury, Griner is a seven-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and one-time WNBA champion.
Griner has also starred for the United States national team, winning gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics.
Since the start of the 2022 WNBA season in May, every team in the league has placed a decal of Griner’s initials and jersey number on their courts in a show of support.
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