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

WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested previous thirty day period at a Moscow airport immediately after Russian authorities mentioned a lookup of her luggage exposed vape cartridges.

The Russian Customs Company said Saturday that the cartridges have been identified as made up of oil derived from cannabis, which could have a highest penalty of 10 several years in jail. The customs service identified the man or woman arrested as a player for the U.S. women’s crew and did not specify the date of her arrest. Russian media documented the player was Griner, and her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, did not dispute those stories.

“We are conscious of the condition with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in shut make contact with with her, her authorized representation in Russia, her family members, her groups, and the WNBA and NBA,” Kagawa Colas claimed Saturday. “As this is an ongoing authorized issue, we are not ready to comment even further on the specifics of her situation but can affirm that as we do the job to get her house, her psychological and bodily health remain our most important issue.”

On Saturday, the Point out Office issued a “do not travel” advisory for Russia simply because of its invasion of Ukraine and urged all U.S. citizens to depart right away, citing aspects together with “the opportunity for harassment versus U.S. citizens by Russian govt safety officials” and “the Embassy’s minimal ability to assist” People in Russia.

Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has played in Russia for the last seven a long time in the wintertime, earning more than $1 million for each year — extra than quadruple her WNBA wage. She past played for her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 right before the league took a two-7 days crack in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

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Additional than a dozen WNBA players ended up actively playing in Russia and Ukraine this winter season, like league MVP Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley of the champion Chicago Sky. The WNBA confirmed Saturday that all players aside from Griner had remaining the two countries.

The 31-12 months-old Griner has received two Olympic gold medals with the U.S., a WNBA championship with the Mercury and a nationwide championship at Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star.

“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s total aid and our principal priority is her swift and protected return to the United States,” the league said in a assertion.

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