Russian Authorities Release First Photo of WNBA Player Brittney Griner Since Arrest

Brittney Griner

Russian authorities have released the first photo of WNBA star Brittney Griner since her arrest three weeks ago in a Russian airport.

The photo shows the 31-year-old Phoenix Mercury player standing with her back to a wall and holding up what looks to be a piece of paper with her name written on it, according to the New York Post.

The photo was taken after Griner was detained in Moscow, supposedly on drug charges, for having vaping cartridges that authorities said contained cannabis oils in her luggage. Russian authorities had also refused to say precisely when Griner was arrested, but she has been out of touch with her family and friends for three weeks.

Griner was in Russia to play with the Russian women’s basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Brittney Griner

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“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,” said sports agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas on 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,” Colas added.

If convicted and handed the maximum penalty, Griner could be sentenced to a ten-year prison term.

The U.S. Department of State issued a “do not travel” warning to Americans headed to Russia, and the WNBA has since noted that all U.S. basketball players, except for Griner, had fled the country.

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