Phoenix Mercury All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner has reportedly been detained in Russia on drug charges.
via: New York Post
WNBA All-Star and Olympic champion Brittney Griner faces 5 to 10 years in Russian prison after she was arrested on drug smuggling charges when she was found with vape cartridges in her carry-on luggage at a Moscow airport, according to Russian news sources.
Russia’s Interfax news agency said a female US basketball player was arrested in February, at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow after arriving on a flight from New York.
A drug sniffing dog indicated narcotics in luggage, and when the bag was X-rayed, “so-called ‘vapes’” were discovered “with a specific order,” according to Interfax, which cited the Russian Federal Customs Service.
“The expert found that the liquid is a narcotic drug cannabis oil (hashish oil),” Interax said.
The independent Russian news website identified the player as Griner.
Interfax said she was detained as a “preventive measure.” There was no indication she was released.
A spokesman for her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, could not immediately be reached for comment. USA Basketball did not immediately respond to a request for information. Griner hasn’t posted on her Instagram account since Feb. 5.
Griner, 31, a member of the 2014 WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury and the 2016 Olympics gold medal team, has played during the WNBA off-season for the Russian team Ekaterinburg in the Euroleague since 2015.
Griner’s agent has not yet released a statement on her reported detainment, but the Mercury released a statement on Saturday morning.
“We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.”