Reports: Brittney Griner to be detained into May, Russian court rules

Brittney Griner Basketball
Posted at 6:24 AM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 11:54:54-04

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner will be held in Russia for at least two more months, a Russian news agency reported Thursday.

According to CNN and Newsweek, news agency TASS reported the Khimki City Court ruled Griner would be detained until May 19.

Newsweek also reported that a human rights group member visited Griner in a detention center and noted that she has not complained about the conditions and is with two other cellmates who are helping her communicate with administrators.

It's not publicly known exactly where Griner is being held.

Officials with the WNBA released the following statement to ABC15 on Thursday:

“In close collaboration with U.S. government agencies, elected officials, individuals and organizations with expertise in these matters, and Brittney Griner’s representatives and family, we continue to work diligently to get her safely home to the United States. This continues to be a complex situation that is extremely difficult for Brittney, her family, and all who are hoping for a swift resolution. Our number one priority remains her safe return.”

Griner was arrested in Russia sometime last month after she was reportedly found with vaping cartridges containing cannabis oil.

After her arrest, a report from The New York Times stated Griner was taken into custody during the investigation and "a criminal case has been opened into the large-scale transportation of drugs, which can carry a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars in Russia."

The U.S. State Department also released the following statement Thursday:

"We take our responsibility to assist U.S. citizens seriously, and we will continue to press for fair and transparent treatment for all U.S. citizens when they are subject to legal processes overseas."

"We are closely engaged on this case and in frequent contact with Brittney Griner’s legal team.

We insist the Russian government provide consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees in Russia, including those in pre-trial detention, as Brittney Griner is.

We have repeatedly asked for consular access to these detainees and have consistently been denied access.  Russia must abide by its legal obligations and allow us to provide consular services for U.S. citizens detained in Russia."