Brittney Griner’s arrest in Russia over drug smuggling charges has created a very scary situation. The Phoenix Mercury star is being detained as Russia continues to be international public enemy number one due to its invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Federal Customs Service claims she was in possession of vape cartridges that contained hashish oil, which derives from cannabis, in an airport. The US State Department issued a statement demanding the Russian government to have more access to Griner and other American detainees, per The Associated Press.
“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 US citizen detainees in Russia, including those in pre-trial detention, as Brittney Griner is,” it said.
“We have repeatedly asked for consular access to these detainees and have consistently been denied access,” it added.
Griner is not being completely abandoned as she waits for her next hearing, which is scheduled for May 19th but can be delayed, according to ESPN’s TJ Quinn. The Mercury star has received visits from her lawyers and talked with Ekaterina Kalugina of the Russian Public Monitoring Commission, who said that Griner is doing fine.
Cherelle Griner, Brittney’s wife, and the Mercury have shared statements invoking their support for the seven-time WNBA All-Star as she remains a prisoner in Russia. Griner has played professionally in Russia for seven years.