Home US SportsWNBA US basketball star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia extended until May

US basketball star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia extended until May

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{Photograph}: Eric Homosexual/AP

Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia for the possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil has been prolonged till 19 Could, based on the Russian state information company, TASS.

TASS reported {that a} courtroom within the Moscow area on Thursday dominated the US basketball star ought to be detained for not less than two extra months.

“The court granted the petition of the investigation and extended the term of US citizen Griner’s detention until 19 May,” TASS quoted the courtroom as saying.

Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of Public Monitoring Fee, a semi-official physique with entry to Russian prisons, instructed TASS that Griner was sharing a cell with two different girls with no earlier convictions. Kalugina added that Griner’s solely difficulty was that the jail beds had been too brief for her 6ft 9in body.

Associated: Brittney Griner’s Russian ordeal is a byproduct of WNBA’s shoestring funding | Andrew Lawrence

An individual near the scenario confirmed to the Guardian that Thursday’s listening to was solely about Griner’s authorized group difficult her detention, and never on the deserves of the case, with the hope of getting the double Olympic champion transferred to deal with arrest. The courtroom’s denial of that attraction was not surprising, the individual stated.

The investigation remains to be ongoing and a trial date shall be set as soon as it has concluded. Till then, the courtroom extends detention by intervals of time. If the investigation just isn’t completed by the Could listening to, the courtroom will then ponder how for much longer the courtroom wants to increase.

The supply additionally confirmed on Thursday that Griner is “OK” and her Russian authorized group has seen her a number of instances every week over your entire course of her detention.

With out figuring out Griner, who has received two Olympic golds with Crew USA, the Russian Customs Service stated earlier this month {that a} participant had been detained in February after arriving at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on a flight from New York.

The 31-year-old WNBA star faces as much as 10 years in jail if discovered responsible of bringing medicine into Russia. Griner’s arrest comes because the US locations sanctions on Russia after Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine final month.

“If we want her out of jail, Russia is going to have some terms,” stated Evelyn Farkas, who served because the US deputy assistant secretary of protection for Russia and Ukraine from 2012 to 2015. “It could be a prisoner swap. They also could use it as an implicit threat or blackmail to get us to do something or not do something. Either way, they find it useful.”

A former Pentagon official told Yahoo Sports she feared Griner might turn into a “high-profile hostage”.

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has stated the Biden administration has assigned an embassy group to work on Griner’s case.

In an announcement to the Guardian final week, Griner’s agent Lindsay Colas stated: “We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA.

“As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.”

Griner, like a lot of her fellow WNBA gamers, additionally competes in Russia throughout the league’s offseason. She has performed for UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2015, serving to the Russian membership to 3 home titles and EuroLeague Ladies championships in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021. Her annual wage of $1m with Ekaterinburg is much in extra of her earnings within the WNBA, where the maximum salary is $228,000.

Griner is taken into account the most effective gamers on the planet. She received gold medals with Crew USA on the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, the WNBA title with the Phoenix Mercury in 2014 and has been named an WNBA All-Star seven instances.

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