WNBA star Brittney Griner’s Moscow detention extended by a month

The WNBA Star Advocate Britney Griner said on Friday that his remand in Russia had been extended by a month.

Griner’s attorney, Alexander Boikov, told the Associated Press that he believes the relatively short length of the detention indicates the case will be tried soon.

Russia Brittney Griner
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner leaves a courtroom after a hearing, in Khimki, outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 13, 2022.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained at Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing cannabis-derived oil were found in her luggage, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The Biden administration says Griner, 31, is being unjustly detained. The WNBA and US authorities worked towards his release, with no visible progress. Former UN Ambassador Bill Richardson is helping Griner’s family secure his return, CBS News has learned.

The US government said it “will continue to make efforts to provide adequate support to Ms. Griner”, who was stuck in mid-February at a Russian airport, where officials claimed that Griner’s luggage contained vape cartridges with cannabis-derived oil, a charge that could result in up to 10 years in prison in Russia.

Grier’s initials and jersey number were stamped into the wood by all 12 WNBA teams.

“I wish she were here physically,” said Allie Quigley, a guard at Chicago Sky. told CBS News.

Quigley and Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot played with Griner during the WNBA offseason in Russia prior to his arrest.

“We were obviously there when it happened and it could have been any of us,” Vandersloot said.

Last week, Griner’s wife Cherelle posted a video of her hugging Griner with the caption “IT’S GAME DAY!” while a wave of tributes on social media arrived with the hashtag “We are BG”.

Terri Jackson, executive director of the WNBA Players Association, told CBS News that she hopes Griner will be home before the season ends and said many of the players have been writing letters to her.

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