Russia extends US basketball star Greener’s drug detention
A Russian court on Friday extended pretrial detention of US basketball star Brittney Griner on suspicion of drugs, state media reported.
Olympic gold medalist and two-time WNBA champion Greener was detained at Moscow Airport in February on suspicion of carrying cannabis oil in his luggage, which could result in a 10-year prison sentence.
A court in the town of Khimki on the outskirts of Moscow has extended Grinner’s arrest until June 18, the state news agency TASS reported, citing a representative of the court.
Grinner’s detention took place a few days before Russia sent troops to Ukraine against US warnings, imposing drastic sanctions on Western nations and urging Kyiv to send military aid.
Washington said last month that Russia had “accidentally detained” a 6-foot-9 basketball star 31 and handed over the case to a US envoy in charge of hostages.
The WNBA said it was working to bring Greener home and praised her when the latest season began in May.
Greener is considered one of the best female basketball players and has scored high, thanks in part to her ability to dunk the ball.
She was playing club basketball in Russia before the US season resumed. This is a common practice for American stars seeking additional income.
Despite the very high tensions between the United States and Russia, the two countries conducted a high-profile prisoner exchange in April, reminiscent of the Cold War.
In exchange, Russia released Trevor Reed, a former US Marine accused of fighting drunken police.
Washington also states that Russia has unfairly detained Paul Whelan, a former security official at an auto parts company sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage in 2020.
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/05/13/russia-extends-drug-detention-of-us-basketball-star-griner-a77677 Russia extends US basketball star Greener’s drug detention