Home » Who is Brittney Griner? (Russia Says It Has American Basketball Player in Custody)Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts
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Who is Brittney Griner? (Russia Says It Has American Basketball Player in Custody)Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner Wiki

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Who is Brittney Griner?

Russia’s Federal Customs Service said its officials detained an American basketball player after finding vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.

The Customs Service said in a statement that the player had won two Olympic gold medals with the United States, but did not release the player’s name. The Russian news agency TASS, citing a police source, identified the player as Brittney Griner, a seven-time member of the W.N.B.A. All-Star Center for the Phoenix Mercury. Griner won gold medals with the United States women’s basketball team in 2021 and 2016.

Charged and Arrest

Griner’s agent and spokesperson for the W.N.B.A. and the Phoenix Mercury did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The arrest comes amid escalating conflict created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and heightened tensions between Russia and the United States. In recent years, Russia has been detaining and sentencing US citizens on what US officials often say are trumped-up charges. The arrest of a high-profile American could be seen as an attempt by Russia to create leverage for a potential prisoner swap with the US government.

Many W.N.B.A. players compete in Russia, where salaries are more lucrative, during the American league offseason. Griner has played for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg for several years.

Some American players began making plans to leave Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Investigation

The Customs Service released video of a traveler at the airport who appeared to be Griner, 31, wearing a mask and black hoodie, going through security. The video showed an individual removing a package from the traveler’s bag.

According to the statement, a criminal case has been opened for large-scale drug transportation, which can carry a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars in Russia. The basketball player was taken into custody while the investigation continues, authorities said.

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