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WNBA’s Brittney Griner detained in Russia for months on drug costs


WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested past thirty day period at a Moscow airport just after Russian authorities stated a search of her luggage unveiled vape cartridges.

The Russian Customs Support said Saturday that the cartridges were being identified as that contains oil derived from hashish, which could have a optimum penalty of 10 yrs in prison. The customs company identified the individual arrested as a player for the U.S. women’s group and did not specify the day of her arrest. Russian media described the player was Griner, and her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, did not dispute all those studies.

“We are knowledgeable of the scenario with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close get hold of with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family members, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA,” Kagawa Colas said Saturday. “As this is an ongoing authorized subject, we are not able to remark further more on the particulars of her situation but can affirm that as we work to get her dwelling, her psychological and actual physical health continue being our principal worry.”

On Saturday, the Point out Department issued a “do not travel” advisory for Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine and urged all U.S. citizens to depart quickly, citing components which includes “the possible for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian governing administration stability officials” and “the Embassy’s minimal capability to assist” Individuals in Russia.

Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has played in Russia for the very last 7 decades in the winter, earning more than $1 million for every year — more than quadruple her WNBA income. She very last performed for her Russian crew UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 right before the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA Planet Cup qualifying tournaments.

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Additional than a dozen WNBA gamers have been participating in in Russia and Ukraine this winter, including league MVP Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley of the winner Chicago Sky. The WNBA confirmed Saturday that all players other than Griner experienced left the two countries.

The 31-12 months-previous Griner has gained two Olympic gold medals with the U.S., a WNBA championship with the Mercury and a countrywide championship at Baylor. She is a 7-time All-Star.

“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s comprehensive support and our main priority is her swift and protected return to the United States,” the league explained in a statement.

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