Brittney Griner found “in good condition” after U.S. official visit
A U.S. official visited WNBA star and Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner in Russia where she is still detained, and found her “in good condition.”
The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that a US Embassy official has visited WNBA star Brittney Griner, who remains detained near Moscow since February, to check on her condition.
This is the first time embassy officials gain access to the two-time U.S. Olympian.
Brittney Griner found “in good condition”
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said “We were able to check on her (Griner’s) condition, we will continue to work very closely with her legal team, with her broader network, to see to it that she is treated fairly.” Price added that the official found Griner “in good condition."
While the 31-year-old has been detained for over a month, her pretrial detention is still expected to take place May 19, according to a Russian state news agency. Luckily, her lawyers have been visiting her regularly, according to sources.
Why did Brittney Griner get arrested in Moscow?
Griner was arrested by Russian customs officials in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport after they allegedly found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage; she was then held on suspicion of drug smuggling.
Like many American women’s basketball players, Griner spends her winters in Russia, where she reportedly earns as much as $1.5 million playing in the Russian Women’s Premier Basketball League.
The three-time All-American has also played for UMMC Ekaterinburg, a Russian women's basketball team based in Yekaterinburg competing in the Russian Premier League, beside U.S. stars Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird.
One of the WNBA’s biggest names, Griner is a perennial All-Star, a champion with the Phoenix Mercury, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist with Team USA.
She is also Black and proudly queer, two things the white nationalist Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot stand.
On top of those reasons, some US officials have shown concern over how Russia could be using Griner as leverage amid the Western sanctions imposed against Russia during their invasion of Ukraine.