Russian court extends Brittney Griner’s detention

Russian news agency Tass reported on May 19, a Russian court extended the detention period of WNBA star Brittney Griner until May 19, raising tensions at the most dangerous time in US relations- Russia since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Miss Griner, 31 years old, WNBA All-Star Center seven times for Phoenix Mercury, is being held on drug charges that carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Customs Service of the Russian Federation said earlier this month that their officials arrested the American basketball player after they found a vape box containing hash oil in her luggage at Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow in February. They did not immediately release the name of Ms. Griner, who was later identified by Tass.

Ms. Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is among a number of WNBA players who play for women’s international teams during the overtime season to supplement their pay. A little piece salaries of their partners in the NBA She has played for the Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, since 2014.

Representative Colin Allred, Democrat of Texas, told the Times last week that Ms. Griner, a native of Texas, was detained on February 17 and that he is working with the State Department to get her released. Allred said Russian authorities had so far refused the State Department’s request for a meeting between consular officials and Griner.

American officials, including Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, has said that some details surrounding Ms. Griner’s detention cannot be released due to privacy constraints.

Since she was incarcerated, Mrs. Griner’s family and friends expressed a wish to bring her home safely.

Mrs. Griner’s wife, Cherelle T. Griner, say in an Instagram post last week, “We love you babe!” and “There are no words to describe this pain.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advise All US citizens in Russia have left the country and have warned that the US Embassy in Moscow has “severe limitations” on its ability to provide assistance to Americans there. The WNBA said on March 5 that all of its other players in Ukraine and Russia had left those countries.

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