WNBA player Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia on drug smuggling accusations has been extended again, this time through at least July 2, according to a CNN report.
Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury, has played in Russia for the last seven off seasons. She was taken into custody in February for allegedly carrying cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport, near Moscow.
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Griner’s alleged offense could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
In March, TASS, a Russian state-owned news agency, reported that Griner’s pretrial detention would be extended until May.
Last month, TASS reported that she would remain in custody until June 18, according to CNN.
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A U.S. State Department official told the news outlet last month that Griner has been officially classified as “wrongfully detained,” and supporters, including her family and the WNBA, have been advocating for her release.
“Our position for some time on this has been very clear: Brittney Griner should not be detained,” Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, told CNN. “She should not be detained for a single day longer.”
Price added that the U.S. last had consular access to Griner last month.
The office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs is handling Griner’s case, CNN reported; the office leads the government’s diplomatic efforts to release Americans who are wrongfully detained abroad.
“Her detention is inhumane and unacceptable,” Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, told CNN. “She has not had a single phone call in her 117 days of wrongful detention.”
Kagawa Colas called on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to “act with urgency and do whatever it takes to bring Brittney home immediately,” the news outlet reported.
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