Kathakram Sports News Russia Extends Drug Detention Of US Basketball Star Brittney Griner

Russia Extends Drug Detention Of US Basketball Star Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner’s arrest has reportedly been extended until June 18.© AFP

A Russian court on Friday extended the pre-trial detention for drug possession of American basketball star Brittney Griner, state media reported. Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained at Moscow airport in February on charges of carrying cannabis oil vape cartridges in her luggage, which could face up to 10 years in prison. A court in the city of Khimki outside Moscow extended Griner’s arrest until June 18, state news agency TASS reported, citing a representative of the court.

Griner’s arrest came days before Russia ignored US warnings and sent troops to Ukraine, prompting Western powers to impose sweeping sanctions and send military aid to Kiev.

Washington said last month that Russia had improperly detained the 31-year-old 2-foot basketball star and turned her case over to the US special envoy in charge of the hostages.

The WNBA has said it is working to bring Griner home and honored her when the final season kicked off in May.

Regarded as one of the best female basketball players, Griner is a top scorer thanks in part to her ability to dunk the ball.

She played club basketball in Russia before the resumption of the American season, a common practice for American stars seeking additional income.

Despite towering tensions between the US and Russia, the two countries conducted a high-profile prisoner swap in April, in scenes reminiscent of the Cold War.

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In the exchange, Russia has released Trevor Reed, a former US Marine charged with drunken fights with police.

Washington also says Russia falsely detained Paul Whelan, a former security officer at an auto parts company who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2020 on charges of espionage.

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