On August 4, a Russian court found WNBA star Brittney Griner guilty of drug possession and sentenced her to nine years in a penal colony, a settlement used for exile. Griner was caught in a Russian airport with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner apologized for the incident, calling it an “honest mistake” since cannabis oil is legal in many U.S. States.
Griner has been in Russian custody since February 2022 and many WNBA athletes are leading the charge to get her back to the United States. Griner’s legal team attempted to appeal on October 25, but her sentence was upheld. Currently, the U.S. is negotiating Griner’s release with Russia to get her out of jail. CBS News reported that the U.S. Embassy officials in Moscow met with Griner on November 3.
Brittney Griner was an eight-time WNBA All-Star and two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year who played for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association. Recently, on November 9, Brittney Griner was transported to the penal colony to begin serving her sentence. Griner’s lawyers say that they do not know where the penal colony is located and that they and the U.S. embassy should be informed upon her arrival, which could take weeks.