June 28, 2022

Brittney Griner of america in motion with Sandrine Gruda of France at Saitama Tremendous Area throughout their Tokyo 2020 Olympic girls’s basketball Group B recreation in Saitama, Japan on Aug. 2, 2021.SERGIO PEREZ/Reuters

WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested final month at a Moscow airport after Russian authorities mentioned a search of her baggage revealed vape cartridges.

The Russian Customs Service mentioned Saturday that the cartridges had been recognized as containing oil derived from hashish, which might carry a most penalty of 10 years in jail. The customs service recognized the particular person arrested as a participant for the U.S. girls’s crew and didn’t specify the date of her arrest. Russian media reported the participant was Griner, and her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, didn’t dispute these stories.

“We’re conscious of the state of affairs with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in shut contact along with her, her authorized illustration in Russia, her household, her groups, and the WNBA and NBA,” Kagawa Colas mentioned Saturday. “As that is an ongoing authorized matter, we aren’t capable of remark additional on the specifics of her case however can verify that as we work to get her house, her psychological and bodily well being stay our major concern.”

On Saturday, the State Division issued a “don’t journey” advisory for Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine and urged all U.S. residents to depart instantly, citing components together with “the potential for harassment in opposition to U.S. residents by Russian authorities safety officers” and “the Embassy’s restricted skill to help” People in Russia.

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Griner, who performs for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has performed in Russia for the final seven years within the winter, incomes over $1-million per season – greater than quadruple her WNBA wage. She final performed for her Russian crew UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 earlier than the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Greater than a dozen WNBA gamers had been taking part in in Russia and Ukraine this winter, together with league MVP Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley of the champion Chicago Sky. The WNBA confirmed Saturday that each one gamers in addition to Griner had left each international locations.

The 31-year-old Griner has gained 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 full assist and our important precedence is her swift and protected return to america,” the league mentioned in a press release.

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