Brittney Griner, an American basketball participant for the Phoenix Mercury WNBA group, was detained this previous February at a Russian airport after Russian officers claimed they discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil (or hash oil) in her baggage. Now, Russian state information businesses are reporting that her detention has been prolonged to Might, in response to NBC.
Why Was Brittney Griner in Russia?
Griner flew to Russia to play on the UMMC Ekaterinburg group. The 31-year-old has been a member of the Russian basketball team for a number of WNBA off-seasons. However this specific journey got here at a tense time; Griner was detained shortly earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine. The US State Division had issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory weeks earlier, citing the continuing pressure.
The two-time Olympian may need chosen to play abroad throughout this low season for a lot of totally different causes — together with to earn some further money. WNBA gamers sometimes earn between $60,000 and $229,000, whereas NBA gamers can earn upwards of $40 million. In response to an Associated Press report, “half of the WNBA’s 144 gamers” went abroad throughout the 2022 low season, with high-ranking athletes incomes greater than $1 million. WNBA athlete Liz Cambage mentioned on NBA Today that she is ready to earn “5 to eight instances extra” by taking part in abroad.
When Will Brittney Griner Be Launched?
NBC reported that the basketball participant’s detention was prolonged till Might, citing the Russian state information company TASS. “The court docket granted the petition of the investigation and prolonged the time period of detention of U.S. citizen [Griner] till Might 19,” TASS mentioned, in response to NBC.
Griner’s detention comes amid US sanctions against Russia. Texas congressman Joaquin Castro deemed Russia’s resolution to detain the athlete to be a political transfer, tweeting, “I am carefully monitoring experiences of Texan @brittneygriner‘s detention in Russia. This follows a sample of Russia wrongly detaining & imprisoning US residents . . . US residents usually are not political pawns.”
In response to “E! News,” Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, launched an announcement to the publication concerning her plan to get Griner house safely. Colas mentioned, “We’re conscious of the scenario with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in shut contact together with her, her authorized illustration in Russia, her household, her groups, and the WNBA, and NBA.”
As of proper now, Griner is reportedly sharing a cell with two inmates who “had no earlier convictions and are charged with drug-related articles,” in response to Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of Public Monitoring Fee, per NBC.
What Is Hash Oil?
Hash oil is extracted from hashish, an unlawful substance in Russia. Below Article 228 of the Russian Criminal Code, somebody who commits an offense associated to the “unlawful acquisition, storage, transportation, making or processing of narcotic medication, psychotropic substances or analogues thereof” may withstand 10 years in jail.
— Further reporting by Alexis Jones