Pre-Trial Detention of WNBA Star Brittney Griner in Russia Extended

WNBA star Brittany Griner will not be returning to the basketball court any time soon.

A Russian court has extended his pre-trial detention by a month, his lawyer said.

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

At a brief hearing on May 13, Griner, 31, appeared in person. The Phoenix Mercury star was handcuffed, wearing a hoodie and standing with his face down. His lawyer, Alexander Boykov, later spoke to Associated Press that he believes the relatively brief extension of detention indicates that his case will come to trial soon.

At the hearing, Boykov also said, “We have not received any complaints about detention conditions from our client,” according to the Associated Press.

U.S. officials are working to try to secure the release of Griner, who was arrested in mid -February amid growing global tension. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We made it clear that we considered Brittney Griner to have been wrongfully arrested,” a U.S. State Department spokeswoman. Ned Price said at a press briefing on May 11. “We’re working very hard on his case.”

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