Why Is Brittney Griner Detained in Russia? The Situation, Explained

When the WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner traveled seven times at an airport near Moscow, he found a cartridge that had inhaled hashish oil vapor in his luggage since he started playing abroad in Russia eight years ago. According to Russian customs authorities.. Hashishi oil is a high concentration form of THC, commonly used in arcpen and is considered a “narcotic substance” in Russia. Britney was arrested He has been detained in Russia since February 17 on suspicion of narcotics.

The news that Britney was arrested on March 5 was first reported in the United States after the Russian news agency TASS identified Britney by name. New York Times.. Britney’s reserved photo was aired on Russian national television on the same day. CNN Broadcast image Within the segment. Russian Federation Customs arrested Britney, but did not disclose her name.The agency said in statement:

“When a U.S. citizen arrived from New York and was passing through the green waterways of Sheremetyevo International Airport, a working dog in the dog department of Sheremetyevo Customs contained a narcotic substance in the accompanying baggage. Customs inspection of carry-on baggage carried by US citizens confirmed the presence of an arc containing a particularly odorous liquid, experts said the liquid was a narcotic substance. I decided that it was hemp oil (hash oil).

A criminal proceeding was filed for drug smuggling. By customs.. Imprisonment can be up to 10 years.

After spending seven seasons at Phoenix Mercury, Britney is one of the WNBA’s highest-paying players.For her next 2022 season, she Earn almost $ 228,000— The highest salary in the league.Like most of her colleagues, Britney has been Play abroad Since 2014 during the league’s off-season Make significantly more money Internationally. That has proven to be true: Britney earns about $ 1 million a season in Russia. Associated Press, Which He also said that Britney’s last match in Russia was on January 29, just before the league had a two-week break.

According to other WNBA players competing in Russia and Ukraine were able to leave the country safely. ESPN.. The whereabouts of Britney are still unknown.

Texas representative Colin Allred, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said: ESPN He is trying to keep Britney safe and to return home. “My office is in contact with the State Department and we’re working with them to find the best way to move forward,” said a Baylor University student athlete like Britney. All Red said. “I know the administration is trying to access her and help her here, but obviously it’s also happening in the context of a really tense relationship. From embassies and consulates to her I think it’s really unusual that you aren’t allowed access to. “

He continued. “Russia’s criminal justice system is very different from ours and very opaque. There is not much insight into where she is currently in the process, but she has been detained for three weeks and it is very I’m worried. “

Allred played football in Baylor from 2001 to 2005, and Britney from Houston played basketball for the Bears from 2009 to 2013. She helped the 2011-2012 team win the NCAA National Championship after the perfect 40-0 season.

Justin EdmondsGetty Images

Allred is not the first American Britney was imprisoned in a Russian prison, but the main difference is that Britney is a well-known athlete and she is political, especially given the right to international tensions. Now and President Joe Biden’s explained that he is afraid that it could be used as a pawn Russia’s oil import ban..

Countless people have gathered around Britney to seek her safe and prompt return.I have petition With about 50,000 signatures, current Baylor students Have a “Free Britney” sign In a recent women’s basketball game. The WNBA, its players’ union, Phoenix Mercury and USA Basketball have all issued official statements in support of Britney.

Britney’s wife, Cherel Greener, made her first statement on an Instagram post. She thanked her for the support of her loved ones and fans, and she sought privacy during this naturally catastrophic period.

“Thanks to everyone who contacted me about my wife’s safe return from Russia,” the caption began. “Thank you very much for your prayers and support. I love my wife so much that this message reaches one of the weakest moments in my life. May many of you love BG for many years. I understand that I am concerned and seeking details. Please respect our privacy as we continue to strive to bring our wives home safely. “

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Britney’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Chorus issued the following statement: ESPN On March 5, he said: “We are aware of the situation in Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, the legal representatives in Russia, families, teams, the WNBA and the NBA. This is an ongoing legal issue. As such, I can’t comment further on the details of her case, but her mental and physical health remains our main concern while working to bring her home. You can check. “

This is a developing story, so check back here for updates.

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