By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Brittney Griner was formally ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial in Russia. Her detention was extended for another six months.
Griner, 31, appeared in court near Moscow Monday. She was in handcuffs and looking straight ahead in photos obtained by The Associated Press.
The Phoenix Mercury center was arrested in February. According to the charges, a scan of her luggage revealed vape cartridges containing hash oil. Prepared for the next season with UMMC Ekaterinburg, she had arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport from New York. About four months later and after brief court hearings, the lack of progress in her case seems alarming.
As it has been from the beginning, Griner could face up to ten years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted and acquittals can be overturned, as noted by The Associated Press.
From a political standpoint, the current status of relations between the USA and Russia, heavily damaged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war, has not been helping toward a quick resolution.
Playing for Russian outfit UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2014, she was crowned EuroLeague champion in 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021, and also won three domestic league championships. Additional titles include the WNBA championship with Mercury in 2014 and the NCAA championship with Baylor in 2012 along with two Olympic gold medals and two World Cup gold medals with Team USA.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL