US Basketball Player And WNBA Star Brittney Griner Jailed For 9 Years By Russian Court Over Drug Charges
A Russian Court sentenced US basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison on August 4, after judge Anna Stonikova "found the defendant guilty" of smuggling and possessing cannabis.
Following the court ruling, US president Joe Biden immediately released a statement, calling the Russian court's sentencing "unacceptable".
In February 2022, Griner was detained at a Moscow airport after she was found possessing vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage.
Her arrest comes around tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia's military invasion of Ukraine.
Griner said, "I want the court to understand it was an honest mistake that I made while rushing, under stress, trying to recover from post-Covid and just trying to get back to my team".
In WNBA, Griner plays for Phoenix Mercury. She was in Russia during the WNBA off-season period to play for the Russian women's basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg.