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Russian Court Extends Brittney Griner’s Detention

A Russian court docket has prolonged the detention of the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner to Could 19, the Russian information company Tass reported on Thursday, including rigidity to essentially the most harmful second in U.S.-Russia relations for the reason that 1962 Cuban missile disaster.

Ms. Griner, 31, a seven-time W.N.B.A. All-Star middle for the Phoenix Mercury, is being held on drug expenses that would carry a sentence of as much as 10 years in jail.

The Russian Federal Customs Service stated earlier this month that its officers had detained the American basketball participant after they discovered vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage on the Sheremetyevo airport close to Moscow in February. They didn’t instantly launch the identify of Ms. Griner, who was later recognized by Tass.

Ms. Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is considered one of a number of W.N.B.A. gamers who compete on worldwide girls’s groups within the low season to complement paychecks which might be a fraction of their counterparts’ salaries within the N.B.A. She has performed for the Russian staff, UMMC Ekaterinburg, since 2014.

Consultant Colin Allred, Democrat of Texas, advised the Occasions final week that Ms. Griner, a Texas native, had been detained on Feb. 17 and that he was working with the State Division to have her launched. Russian authorities have to date denied the State Division’s request for a gathering between consular officers and Ms. Griner, Mr. Allred stated.

American officers, together with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, have stated that sure particulars surrounding Ms. Griner’s detention couldn’t be disclosed because of privateness constraints.

Since she was detained, household and pals of Ms. Griner have come ahead to specific their shared need to get her dwelling safely.

Ms. Griner’s spouse, Cherelle T. Griner, stated in an Instagram post final week, “We love you babe!” and “There are not any phrases to specific this ache.”

The State Division has advised all U.S. residents in Russia to go away the nation and has warned that the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has “extreme limitations” on its capacity to supply help to Individuals there. The W.N.B.A. stated on Mar. 5 that each one of its different gamers in Ukraine and Russia had left these nations.

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