Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been found guilty on Russian drug charges and sentenced to nine years in Russian prison.
Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February after she was discovered to be in possession of cannabis oil, which Griner insists she accidentally packed in her luggage before departing to play overseas.
As of August 4, Griner has officially been deemed guilty and will be sentenced to nine years in Russian prison.
Griner gave an apology for the situation.
"“I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them. I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home.” Brittney Griner, via Fox News"
Despite the decision made in Russia, the U.S. State Department considers her “wrongfully detained” and has attempted to bring Griner back to the United States.
The U.S. considers Phoenix Mercury star ‘wrongfully detained’
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered a “substantial proposal” for the return of Griner and fellow American Paul Whelan, according to Fox News.
"“In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us: the release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who’ve been wrongfully detained and must be allowed to come home.” -Antony Blinken, via Fox News"
According to NPR, Griner presented the court with a medical card to prove her use was medical, but that didn’t impact the Russian ruling.