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WNBA Star Brittney Griner in Russian Court On Drug Charges

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner appeared in Russian court Friday over drug charges, Reuters reports. The Women’s National Basketball Association star is being charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia. In February, Griner was arrested in a Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing hashish oil were allegedly found in her luggage. The Kremlin said Griner’s detention is not politically motivated. The trial comes in a time of high tension between the U.S. and Russia over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Griner told reporters that she is having a difficult time in detention because she does not speak Russian and has been unable to keep up with her fitness training. Griner is a center for the Phoenix Mercury but played with the Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League during the off-season for additional income. As a result of the Ukraine invasion, the U.S. government is warning Americans against traveling to Russia. Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, said she hopes to meet with President Biden to work toward Griner’s release. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that bringing Griner home is a top priority.


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