Russia extends detention for WNBA star Brittney Griner

Russia extends detention for WNBA star Brittney Griner

Russia extends detention for WNBA star Brittney Griner

Russia extends detention for WNBA star Brittney Griner

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  • Brittney Griner of the Women’s National Basketball Association was detained for the second time by a Russian court on Tuesday.
  • Griner will be held in Russian custody at least until July 2.
  • She was arrested in February at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow.
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Brittney Griner of the Women’s National Basketball Association was detained for the second time by a Russian court on Tuesday.

Griner, who was arrested in February, will be held in Russian custody at least until July 2, according to TASS, the Russian state news agency.

Griner, 31, was arrested in February at Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow after authorities discovered cannabis-infused vape cartridges in her backpack.

Read more: Brittney Griner’s wife goes to media in WNBA star’s case

For the doping charges, the Phoenix Mercury central and two-time Olympic gold medalist may face a maximum sentence of ten years in Russian jail. She’s been imprisoned in Russia for more than three months.

In May, her incarceration was prolonged for another month. Her lawyer, Alexander Boykov, suggested at the time that the short extension could imply her case will go to trial shortly.

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However, her custody has been extended for another 18 days at the request of the investigation, according to a spokeswoman from the Moscow Region’s Khimki Court.

The Biden administration said last month that the basketball player had been “wrongfully arrested by the Russian government.” The strong language reflects the US government’s determination to win her release as the judicial case against her progresses.

Read more: Blinken chats with Brittney Griner’s wife, who is currently jailed

The US State Department took action in Griner’s case after the release of Marine veteran Trevor Reed, who was exchanged for Griner in a prisoner swap with Russia.

Until then, US officials have refrained from claiming that the women’s basketball player was being held illegally in another country.

Griner’s teammates from the Phoenix Mercury met with officials earlier Tuesday to discuss her imprisonment in Russia and their efforts to achieve her safe release, according to the US State Department.

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Griner’s colleagues and other WNBA players have been urging President Joe Biden to assist her return home via social media. WNBA players have also been able to communicate with her via an account set up by her agency.

Read more: Brittney Griner’s pretrial detention in Russia has been extended by a month

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