Politics

Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner detained in Russia



WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia on drug charges after a search of her luggage found vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis, according to Russian officials.

USA Basketball said in a tweet Saturday that it is monitoring the situation.

“Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns,” the tweet read.

Griner was detained after the Russian Federal Customs Service said it discovered cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. The offense could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, said she could not release further details because it’s an ongoing legal matter.

Griner is a center for WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and has played in Russia for the last seven years in the winter. She last played for her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 before the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Griner, 31, has won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S., a WNBA championship with the Mercury, and a national championship at Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star.

Phoenix Mercury said in a statement it has been in contact with her family and representative.

“We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home,” the team said.

The detainment comes amid the escalating conflict created by Russia attacking Ukraine. On Saturday, the State Department issued a “do not travel” advisory for Russia and urged all U.S. citizens to leave immediately.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.





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