Basketball Star Brittney Griner’s Detention Extended By Russian Court: Report

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A Russian court announced Thursday that American basketball star Brittney Griner would be detained until May 19, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

The Olympic gold medalist was arrested earlier this year at an airport outside Moscow and was accused of smuggling hashish oil in her luggage.

Moscow’s Khimki Court told TASS it was granting “the request of the investigation and extended the period of detention” for Griner, multiple outlets reported.

TASS also quoted a source from Russia’s Public Monitoring Commission, which has access to prisons, who said that Griner was sharing a cell with two other inmates but that her 6-foot-9-inch frame was too tall for the standard jail bed, according to NBC News. Griner reportedly has ordered books ― a biography of the Rolling Stones and a tome by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

CCTV footage released by Russian state media shows Griner, 31, walking through the Sheremetyevo airport in February with a small black rolling suitcase. That was the last time she was seen publicly.

Griner is a center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury team who has been playing basketball in Russia during the offseason for several years ― something many American athletes do because the pay is so lucrative.

Her wife, Cherelle Griner, her WNBA team and USA Basketball representatives all said they were aware of Griner’s detention before the news surfaced earlier this month, but appeared to be wary of provoking the Russian government by drawing attention to her plight.

Cherelle Griner posted a message on Instagram thanking fans for their concern.

“I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details,” she said. “Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely.”

Griner’s detention in Russia ― a country hostile to LGBTQ individuals ― has sparked concern that she could be mistreated while in custody.



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