A Moscow courtroom has prolonged the arrest of WNBA star Brittney Griner till Might 19, in line with the Russian state information company Tass.
Griner was detained at a Moscow airport in February after Russian authorities stated a search of her baggage revealed vape cartridges. They had been recognized as containing oil derived from hashish, which might carry a most penalty of 10 years in jail.
“The courtroom granted the request of the investigation and prolonged the interval of detention of the U.S. citizen Griner till Might 19,” the courtroom stated, in line with Tass.
The USA embassy in Moscow didn’t instantly return calls from The Related Press looking for remark.
The 31-year-old Griner, one of the vital recognizable gamers in girls’s basketball, has gained two Olympic gold medals with the U.S., a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury and a nationwide championship at Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star.
The WNBA season opens Might 6.
Griner has performed in Russia for the final seven years within the winter, incomes over $1 million per season — greater than quadruple her WNBA wage. She final performed for her Russian staff UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 earlier than the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments. She was arrested in Moscow upon returning to Russia.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined a rising contingent of household, mates and officers calling for the participant’s launch with a “Free Brittney” tweet Wednesday.
It is unclear how a lot progress was being made within the case as a result of Griner’s group has been attempting to work quietly for her launch and declining to speak publicly since her arrest was made public earlier this month.
“Everybody’s getting the technique of say much less and push extra privately behind the scenes,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert stated. “It is the technique you get from the State Division and administration. It is our No. 1 precedence in speaking along with her agent and strategists.”
The U.S. State Division has been “doing the whole lot we are able to to help Brittney Griner to help her household, and to work with them to do the whole lot we are able to, to see that she is handled appropriately and to hunt her launch,” spokesperson Ned Value stated Tuesday at a briefing.
Griner was one in all a dozen WNBA gamers who performed in Russia or Ukraine this previous season. All besides Griner have left since Russia invaded Ukraine.