US basketball player Brittney Griner still detained in Russia

A Russian court on Thursday decided to extend the arrest of American basketball star Brittney until May 19. Grinerarrested in February at the Moscow airport and suspected of transporting narcotics, according to Russian state media.

Griner, two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained with “vaping material and a liquid that had a particular odor,” according to the federal customs service of Russia it’s a statement.

The court in Khimki, on the outskirts of Moscow, rejected the arguments of the lawyers of the playerwhich were intended to demonstrate the illegal and excessively severe nature of their arrest, reports the Ria Novosti government press agency.

“However, they have not globally answered the accusation of drug trafficking,” adds the agency.

After Griner’s arrest, which occurred against a background of international tensions linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States basketball federation USA Basketball had shown its “concern” about the “safety” and “well-being” of the player, who is exposed to a sentence of between 5 and 10 years in prison.

Her club, the Phoenix Mercury, and the American Professional Players Union (WNBPA) said they were “informed” of Brittney Griner’s situation.

Griner, 31 years old and 2.06 meters tall, actively participated in the achievement of the third Phoenix title in the WNBA, in 2014.

Numerous WNBA players participate in European leagues when there is no championship in the United States and some of them do so in Russia and Ukraine.

The center has also played for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA’s breaks since 2015, helping the club to three Russian national titles and EuroLeague Women’s championships in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021.


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US basketball player Brittney Griner still detained in Russia