WNBA Star Brittney Griner Arrested on Drug Charges in Russia

Brittney Griner
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WNBA star Britteny Griner was arrested last month in Russia and is currently being detained by Russian authorities after vape cartridges were found in her luggage.

According to the Associated Press:

The Russian Customs Service said Saturday that the cartridges were identified as containing oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The customs service identified the person arrested as a player for the U.S. women’s team and did not specify the date of her arrest. Russian media reported the player was Griner, and her agent did not dispute those reports.

‘We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA,’ Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said Saturday. ‘As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.’

On Saturday, the State Department issued a ‘do not travel’ advisory for Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine and urged all U.S. citizens to depart immediately, citing factors including ‘the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials’ and ‘the Embassy’s limited ability to assist’ Americans in Russia.

When not playing for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, Griner plays basketball for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury drives to the basket against Kiah Stokes of the Las Vegas Aces during Game Five of the 2021 WNBA Playoffs...

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory telling all U.S. nationals to leave Russia immediately.

“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States,” the WNBA said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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