American basketball champion Brittney Griner remains locked in a Russian prison more than 100 days after her arrest on drug charges.
Customs officials detained the lesbian sporting star on February 17, 2022, days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They claimed sniffer dogs detected vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. However, Brittney Griner’s arrest only became public knowledge in March. Russian authorities then charged her with the large-scale transportation of drugs.
Brittney Griner previously flew in and out of Russia on multiple occasions. Many female American basketball players compete overseas in the American off-season. They make far more money in foreign leagues than in the US where female players earn a fraction of the money earnt by their often multi-millionaire male counterparts.
Regarded as one of the world’s best female basketball players, Brittney Griner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. US officials previously described the sports star’s detention as wrongful and called for her release.
Many observers conjecture that the arrest of Brittney Griner around the same time as the commencement of hostilities in Ukraine is no coincidence. Former Pentagon official, Evelyn Farkas, described her as a potential ‘high-profile hostage’. Under Vladimir Putin, the Russian judiciary remains as notoriously corrupt as during the Soviet regime. Numerous convictions over the past two decades appeared to be decided by the Kremlin rather than the presiding judges.
Despite hints of negotiations by both US and Women’s National Basketball Association officials with Russian authorities, a court recently extended Brittney Griner’s detention by a month.
Brittney’s wife Cherelle called on US President Joe Biden to ‘Bring BG home’ in a recent Instagram post.
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