Women’s NBA star Brittney Griner will have to stay in Russia for a bit more as her pre-trial detention has been extended to July 2 by a Russian Court on Tuesday. According to Russian media outlet, a Russian court extended the detention at “the request of the investigation.”
Notably, Brittney Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow in February for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in the country. She has now been detained for 117 days till Tuesday. Meanwhile, the United States government has classified Griner as being “wrongfully detained”.
As per a report in ESPN, labeling Brittney Griner as wrongfully detained has allowed the US government to shift its focus on taking steps to bring the WNBA star home rather than allowing the legal processes to play out. ESPN has also reported that former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, who has years of international hostage negotiating experience, agreed to work on Griner’s case.
Tough times for a champion player
Brittney Griner has been a long servant of the United States, having won gold medals for the country at the Summer Olympics. Griner played for the US national team and won gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics. She has also been playing in the WNBA for the Phoenix Mercury since 2013.
As a member of the Mercury, Brittney Griner is a seven-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, and one-time WNBA champion. Griner also plays professionally in Russia, the reason behind her presence in the country in February. However, unlike other times, she has been stuck there since her last visit.
With the star player going through so much, Brittney Griner has received support from every corner so far. Since the start of the 2022 WNBA season in May, every team in the league has placed a decal of Brittney Griner‘s initials and jersey number on their courts in order to show support to the player.