On Tuesday, a Russian court denied the appeal of WNBA player Brittney Griner, 8 months after her arrest on drug smuggling charges.
The nine-year Russian prison sentence of Brittney Griner is being upheld. Eight months after the Phoenix Mercury player was arrested at Russia’s Sheremetyevo International Airport in February on drug smuggling charges, on Tuesday (October 25), Griner lost her appeal for a reduced sentence. During the ruling, the court stated that Griner’s prison sentence will be recalculated due to her time in pre-trial detention. The sentencing also comes one week after Griner’s 32nd birthday, which was on October 18.
Per Fox News, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan released a statement after the sentence was upheld.
“We are aware of the news out of Russia that Brittney Griner will continue to be wrongfully detained under intolerable circumstances after having to undergo another sham judicial proceeding today. President Biden has been very clear that Brittney should be released immediately,” the statement read.
“In recent weeks, the Biden-Harris Administration has continued to engage with Russia through every available channel and make every effort to bring home Brittney as well as to support and advocate for other Americans detained in Russia, including fellow wrongful detainee Paul Whelan. The President has demonstrated that he is willing to go to extraordinary lengths and make tough decisions to bring Americans home, as his Administration has done successfully from countries around the world. The Administration remains in regular touch with representatives of the families, and we continue to admire their courage in the face of these unimaginable circumstances.”
Griner was arrested on February 17 at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow after authorities found vape cartridges with cannabis oil inside her luggage. On August 4, the basketball player was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling.