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WNBA Player Faces Two More Months in Russian Prison on Drug Charge


FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner is shown during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky, Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Professional U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner will remain jailed in Russia for at least two more months following her detention at a Moscow airport in February for alleged drug possession, Russian news agency TASS reported Thursday.

Griner, a seven-time All-Star, has been accused of carrying cannabis oil vape cartridges in her luggage.

The news reports cited the Khimki City Court of the Moscow region as saying it “granted the petition of the investigation and extended the term of detention of U.S. citizen Griner until May 19."

Griner, who plays in Russia during the WNBA offseason, is reportedly sharing a cell with two others. It is not clear where she is being held.

Griner, 31, was detained in February at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport after arriving from New York. When authorities scanned her luggage, they said they found the cartridges.

If convicted, she could face five to 10 years in prison.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about the case.

"There's only so much I can say given the privacy considerations at this point," Blinken said. "Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we of course stand ready to provide every possible assistance, and that includes in Russia."

"We have an embassy team that’s working on the cases of other Americans who are detained in Russia. We’re doing everything we can to see to it that their rights are upheld and respected."

Some information in this report comes from Reuters.

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