U.S. embassy says Brittney Griner in ‘good condition’ after consular access granted
A Moscow court has extended Griner’s jail stay until May
WNBA star Brittney Griner is said to be “in good condition” while detained in Russia on drug charges.
The update comes from an official with the US Embassy in Moscow who was granted consular access to the Phoenix Mercury star on Tuesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told CNN.
In February, customs officers at the Sheremetyevo International Airport allegedly found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in Griner’s carry-on bag, theGrio reported. The two-time Olympic basketball champion has been charged with smuggling “narcotic drugs” into the country. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.
A Moscow court has extended Griner’s jail stay until May 19, according to the Russian state news agency Tass, per The Associated Press. Griner reportedly has access to her legal team while detained.
“We were able to check on her condition, we will continue to work very closely with her legal team, with her broader network, to see to it that she is treated fairly,” Price told CNN.
“Our official found Brittney Griner to be in good condition and we will continue to do everything we can to see to that she is treated fairly throughout this ordeal,” he added.
Griner is a member of the Russian basketball UMMC Ekaterinburg, and like many WNBA players, she was playing overseas during the WNBA offseason where top players “earn more than $1 million — nearly quadruple what they can make as a base salary in the WNBA,” The Associated Press reported.
Griner last played with her Russian team in late January before the league paused for a two-week break ahead of the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments. She was arrested in Moscow upon returning to the country. Her detainment came shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The investigation is ongoing and a trial date has not been set, according to CNN.
“Our number-one priority is to get Brittney home safely as quickly as we can,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told PEOPLE.
Engelbert was hoping to secure the athlete’s release before the WNBA season begins in May.
“Anyone who meets Brittney, the first thing you walk away with is how kind she is,” she told the publication. “She’s just very low-key and very humble. … She’s given strong support for the LGBTQ+ community, is an advocate [for social justice]. … No matter who you talk to, if they know Brittney, you get that kind of story about how iconic she is and what a role model she is, both on and off the court.”
TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today!