WNBA Star Brittney Griner’s Pre-Trial Detention in Russia Extended

WNBA star Brittany Griner won’t be returning to the basketball court anytime soon.

A Russian court has extended her pre-trial detention by one month, her lawyer says.

The athlete, who plays for a Russian basketball team during the U.S. league’s off-season, was arrested in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. If convicted, Griner could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in a Russian jail.


At a brief hearing on May 13, Griner, 31, appeared in person. The Phoenix Mercury star was handcuffed, wearing a hoodie and standing with her face held low. Her lawyer, Alexander Boykov, later told the Associated Press that he believed the relatively short extension of the detention indicated that her case would come to trial soon.

At the hearing, Boykov also said, “We did not receive any complaints about the detention conditions from our client,” per the Associated Press.

U.S. officials have been working to try to secure the release of Griner, who was arrested in mid-February amid growing global tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We made clear that we consider Brittney Griner to be wrongfully detained,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on May 11. “We are working very closely on her case.”

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