Brittany Griner, the Olypmic basketball player who was arrested in Russia, will be detailed until late May. Griner’s family and the league open up about the subject.
Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Brittney Griner’s arrest was extended, leaving the WNBA All-Star in Russia’s captivity until, at the earliest, May 19. Griner, 31, was arrested on February 17 after reportedly being found with hashish oil at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. With her extended stay and Russia’s severe narcotic policies —a sentence of up to 10 years in prison is possible— coming home just became increasingly difficult for Griner.
News about Griner’s arrest in Russia broke to the U.S. in early March when avideowas released from The Russian Federal Customs Service, showing what many assume to be Griner walking through security.
Though her location remains a mystery, Griner was denied the right for house arrest by the Moscow court, despite her being 6 feet 9 inches tall and too big for the bed.
“Her physical condition is fine, she’s holding up fine, and I’d even say that she is fairly calm and isn’t anxious,” Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of a Russian monitoring committee toldThe Associated Press. Kalugina further added that Griner’s legal team brought her care packages during her stay.
Also a mystery is Griner’s trial date, leaving her departure even more in the air.Peter Maggs, a University of Illinois professor and former associate at the Harvard Russian Research Center, toldCNNthat the trial should not be too long, “but then appeals can take all sorts of time.”
Lisa Leslie, another WNBA player,saidin the podcast “I Am Athlete,” “What we were told, and again this is all sort of passed along through hearsay, but what we were told was to not make a big fuss about it so that [Russia] could not use her as a pawn.”
“My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats everyday that goes by,” Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, wrote in an Instagram post on March 7. “There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting. We await the day to love on you as a family,” Cherelle Griner continued, accompanying a photo of the two and their loved ones.