WNBA superstar and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia. According to reports, Griner was arrested after customs officers discovered vapes with hashish oil inside of them in her luggage.
Basketball Star Detained in Russia After Going Through Airport Security
As The New York Times reports, it is believed that Griner was first arrested in February, and is believed to have been detained since then. Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, seemingly confirmed the report in a statement given to The Times.
“We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA.” It’s believed Griner was in Russia to play basketball.
The Times reports that Griner was the last WNBA player to leave Russia and Ukraine.
“As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern,” Colas continued.
The WNBA also released a statement in support of Griner, saying that she has their “full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States.”
In an updated warning to U.S. citizens, the State Department again urged Americans not to travel to Russia, adding that Americans in Russia should leave immediately over concerns that the war in Ukraine could result in “potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials.”
Former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael A. McFaul, told The Times that while he doesn’t know the specifics of Griner’s legal issues, her arrest should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans in Russia. Get out. Shut down your businesses now.”
As The New York Times reports, the large-scale transportation of drugs investigation is still ongoing. It could carry a 10-year sentence in Russia.
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U.S. officials believe that the “trumped-up charges” and the detainment of one of WNBA’s biggest stars could be an attempt by Russia to gain leverage against the United States as huge sanctions are being imposed on Russia due to the situation in Ukraine.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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