A Moscow court rejected a bid to release a U.S. basketball player on suspicion of drug smuggling

A Russian court on March 17 denied a lawyer’s attempt to secure the release of US basketball player Britney Grinner, who was arrested in February on suspicion of drug smuggling.

WNBA player Greener is playing professional basketball in Russia at UMMC Yekaterinburg. After landing at an airport near Moscow, it is said that hashish oil was in the luggage.

According to RIA Novosti, a Moscow judge extended Grinner’s detention for two months this week before refusing to bid for Grinner’s release.

Grinner’s lawyer told the court that the arrest was illegal and she did not need to be detained in light of the charges. They said her prison system bed was not suitable for Greener, who stood 6 feet 9 inches and spoke via a video conference from the pretrial detention center where she was detained.

Prosecutors disputed the argument, arguing that the law did not provide for Greener to continue house arrest because the arrest was legal and she was a foreigner.

Grinner, a gold medalist at the two US Olympics, could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Lindsay Kagawa Chorus, Grinner’s agent, said her team was aware of Grinner’s situation and “closely contacted her, her legal representative in Russia, her family, her team, and the WNBA. I’m taking it, “he told the press. And the NBA. “

WNBA is a professional women’s league in the United States. Many players play abroad during the off-season.

The US State Department is working on the Greener case, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in early March.

“Given that privacy is a concern at this point, I can’t say much,” he said.

US lawmakers have called on Russia to release Greener, including Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

“I’ll make it clear. Brittney Griner is a US citizen. She was a guest in Russia. I demand her release. Lee told reporters at a recent press conference.

“Russia’s detention of WNBA player Brittney Griner is of great concern,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) Added in a statement. “The United States must do everything in its power to ensure her immediate release.”

Zachary Stieber


Zachary Stieber covers US and world news. He is based in Maryland.