First Footage of Detained WNBA Star Surfaces

Russia extends detention of Brittney Griner until at least May 19
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2022 11:14 AM CDT
Brittney Griner's Detention in Russia Is Extended
The United States' Brittney Griner in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

For WNBA star Brittney Griner, there will be no quick release from Russia. A court in Moscow on Thursday extended her detention until May 19 as an investigation into drug charges against her continue, reports CNN. The 31-year-old, who plays in Russia during the WBNA offseason, was arrested at a Moscow airport last month, though the details remain murky. The AP reports that vape cartridges with cannabis oil were allegedly found in her luggage, an offense that could theoretically mean 10 years in prison. TMZ reports that Griner pleaded not guilty on Thursday. It also linked to this video, apparently showing Griner walking into the courthouse with two female guards.

Top US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have pledged to work for Griner's release, though the arrest is obviously complicated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton added her voice to the cause, tweeting "Free Brittney." Of course, Clinton herself was just sanctioned by Moscow, part of Vladimir Putin's economic retaliation for US sanctions on him and top allies. The development in Moscow on Thursday—"the court granted the request of the investigation and extended the period of detention of the US citizen Griner until May 19" is the official statement, per the Tass news agency—means Griner will likely miss the start of the WNBA season, which is May 6. (More Brittney Griner stories.)

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