Brittney Griner: Russia extend US basketball star detention

Brittney Griner: Russia extend US basketball star detention

Brittney Griner, an American basketball player, has had her pre-trial detention in Russia extended for another month.

Ms Griner, 31, has been detained since February when Moscow airport officials allegedly discovered cannabis oil in her suitcase while she was returning to the United States after performing in Russia.

Officials in the United States believe she was unfairly imprisoned and should be released. If convicted, Griner, one of the top female players in the world, risks up to ten years in prison.

A consular employee from the US State Department attended Friday’s court session and chatted with Griner on the sidelines, according to the US State Department.

A spokesman said Griner was doing “as well as can be expected during exceedingly difficult circumstances”.

Authorities in Russia claim that a sniffer dog led them to Griner’s carry-on luggage, where they discovered vape cartridges with hashish oil.

Despite the fact that the event occurred on February 17, Russian officials did not announce her incarceration until the second week of March.

Her imprisonment came as authorities from the United States and the Women’s National Basketball Association urged Americans to leave Russia amid escalating tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Since then, US and WNBA officials appear to have made little progress in securing her release.

Despite deteriorating US-Russia relations, officials have maintained diplomatic channels for dialogue.

Griner’s case is now being handled by the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy, a special State Department unit.