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WNBA Star Brittney Griner’s Russia Detention Prolonged For Third Time


WNBA Star Brittney Griner’s Russia Detention Prolonged For Third Time

MOSCOW (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner will stay in Russian custody by way of not less than July 2, Russian state-run information company Tass reported Tuesday.

The 31-year-old American basketball participant has been held in Russia since February when she was detained at a Moscow airport after authorities there claimed she was carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil. The U.S. Division of State final month reclassified her as wrongfully detained.

The Khimki district court docket of the Moscow area prolonged Griner’s detention for a 3rd time, in keeping with the Tass report, which additionally cited a high Russian diplomat as saying that Moscow won’t contemplate together with Griner in a detainee swap “till a court docket investigation into her case is accomplished.”

Deputy Overseas Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in keeping with Tass, was responding to US media studies that the Biden administration had supplied to trade convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner. Ryabkov gave no timeline for the proceedings within the participant’s case.

Griner’s supporters proceed to advocate for her release, with some elevating considerations that Moscow would possibly use her as a bargaining chip amid tensions over the battle in Ukraine.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who performs in Russia throughout the WNBA offseason, was accused of “smuggling important quantities of a narcotic substance,” an offense punishable by as much as 10 years in jail in Russia.

The Houston native performs for the Phoenix Mercury.

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Tuesday that it was his understanding that division officers realized of the extension in her detention solely by way of Tass, which he mentioned was problematic.

“This case is problematic from high to backside,” he mentioned. “It’s exactly why we now have characterised Brittney Griner as an illegal detainee. It’s exactly why we’re doing every thing we are able to to hunt and to have an effect on her immediate launch from Russian detention.”

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