Detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner in Moscow extended by one month

The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner said Friday her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month.

Griner’s lawyer Alexander Boikov told The Associated Press he believed the relatively short extension of the detention indicated the case would come to trial soon.

Russia Brittney Griner
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner leaves a courtroom after a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 13, 2022.

Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained at the Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The Biden administration says Griner, 31, is being wrongfully detained. The WNBA and U.S. officials have worked toward her release, without visible progress.

The U.S. government said it would “continue to undertake efforts to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner,” who was arrested in mid-February at a Russian airport, where officials claimed that Griner’s luggage held vape cartridges with oil derived from cannabis, a charge which can result in up to 10 years in prison in Russia. 

Grier’s initials and jersey number have been emblazoned on the hardwood by all 12 WNBA teams as the league officially tips off Friday night. 

“I wish she was here physically,” Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley said.

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