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Brittney Griner’s Detention in Russia Extended Another Month

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

WNBA star Brittney Griner has had her pretrial detention in Russia extended by another month, according to the Associated Press.

Griner’s lawyer, Alexander Boykov, spoke to the AP following a hearing and said that he “did not receive any complaints about the detention conditions” from Griner herself. The 31-year-old had already had her detention extended to May back in March.

Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury, has been held in Russia since February, when Russian officials claim she was caught carrying vape cartridges through Sheremetyevo airport, near Moscow, that contained hashish oil. Possession of the substances could carry a prison sentence of up to ten years.

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department officially reclassified Griner as having been “wrongfully detained” in Russia and said her case is now being handled by Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

Carstens was praised by President Joe Biden for his involvement in a recent prisoner exchange with Russia in which Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot convicted on charges of drug trafficking, was swapped for Trevor Reed, a U.S. Marine who had been held for two years in Russia on charges of assault that he denies.

At the beginning of this season, the WNBA announced that the league would be honoring the two-time Olympic gold medalist, with all 12 teams featuring a floor decal of Griner’s jersey number, 42, and her initials their home courts. The Phoenix Suns, the NBA team that shares an arena with the Mercury, said they would also feature the decal on their court as they continue their playoff run.

“As we begin the 2022 season, we are keeping Brittney at the forefront of what we do through the game of basketball and in the community,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a statement. “We continue to work on bringing Brittney home and are appreciative of the support the community has shown BG and her family during this extraordinarily challenging time.”

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Brittney Griner’s Detention in Russia Extended Another Month