A Russian court docket Thursday discovered WNBA star Brittney Griner responsible of drug possession and smuggling expenses. She was sentenced to 9 years in jail.
The announcement got here Thursday morning, some six months after she was arrested in a Russian airport for possession of lower than one gram of hashish. Griner arrived in Russia February to play within the nation throughout the American low season. It is a widespread observe for a lot of American sports activities gamers who can generally earn more money overseas than they will at house.
A sentence was not handed down when the decision was learn, however prosecutors requested she spends 9 years and 6 months in a jail colony, in line with a report from NPR.
Griner’s incident couldn’t have occurred at a worse time, given the ever-rising tensions between the US and Russia amid the struggle in Ukraine. The 2 nations, practically in a single day, retreated to a Chilly Struggle-style stalemate with all sides punishing the opposite for its habits.
In latest weeks, the Biden administration has been negotiating — to date, unsuccessfully — her launch with Russian officers. A number of affords have been made by way of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, however the Kremlin hasn’t been in touch with Blinken’s workplace since earlier than the beginning of the struggle.
One potential providing is the discharge of Russian arms seller Viktor Bout. Prisoner exchanges for the sort of crime and somebody of his stature usually are not unusual between the 2 nations, however to launch a prisoner of that caliber can be largely unprecedented.
Griner’s spouse has now made the cost that US officers, who didn’t reveal the case to the general public till the start of March, have executed little or no to assist her imprisoned partner. In an interview with CNN, Cherelle Griner stated that the actions of American authorities had been inadequate. She additionally stated she hoped to fulfill with Joe Biden as a result of he has the facility to repatriate her spouse.