WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia on drug charges for several months. Authorities in Russia have alleged that Griner, who has spent her WNBA offseason playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2014, had vape pods that included cannabis oil among her belongings as she attempted to make her way through an airport earlier this year, and as a result, the seven-time WNBA All-Star faces up to 10 years in prison.
On Friday, Griner’s lawyer Alexander Boykov announced that the pretrial detention in which she’s been held has been extended by a month, something that he believes could mean that the case will go to trial soon per the Associated Press. But in the aftermath of that announcement, the WNBPA posted a statement to its Twitter account to call on the White House, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris to do whatever it takes to return Griner back to the United States.
— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) May 14, 2022
“Today’s news on Brittney Griner was not unexpected, and the WNBA continues to work with the U.S. government to get BG home safely and as soon as possible,” the WNBA said in a statement in the aftermath of the announcement.
The Biden administration has indicated in the past that it believes Griner is being wrongfully detained, and following Friday’s news, a State Department spokesperson said that members of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow were in touch with her earlier in the day. Griner, per the spokesperson, “is doing as well as can be expected in these circumstances.”