Brittney Griner Russia Case Explained: Serious Drug Trade, Situation Updated

Basketball player Brittney Griner from the United States has finally woken up from a nightmare that lasted for ten long months. The American athlete, who had been detained in a Russian prison on drug-related charges, traveled to the United States after her release was achieved on Thursday as part of a prisoner swap for global arms dealer Viktor Bout. What happened to her? Here is the answer.
Before being arrested by Russian authorities for possessing cannabis oil in February, Brittney Griner had an amazing career in basketball, winning two Olympic gold medals for the American team. After 10 long months, she now returns home after a prisoner swap with Moscow for arms dealer Viktor Bout. WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner sits in the plane as she flies to Abu Dhabi to be exchanged for Russian citizen Viktor Bout, in Russia. AP.

1. Brittney Griner: What happened?

russia brittney grinerSource: CNN

On 17 February, Ms Griner was traveling through the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow when Russian customs officials allegedly found cartridges containing the offending hashish oil in her luggage.Ms. Griner was taken into custody at the airport on charges of large-scale transportation of illegal narcotics, which carried a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Her detainment occurred shortly before Russia launched its war in Ukraine, with geopolitical tensions making it undoubtedly more difficult to secure her release.
Her trial began on 1 July with the Russian government presenting evidence that the WNBA star “bought two cartridges for personal use, which contained 0.252 grams and 0.45 grams of hash oil,” according to a courtroom report from state news agency Tass. The trial resumed on 7 July, with Ms Griner clutching a photo of her wife Cherelle.

russia brittney grinerSource: TMZ

Ms Griner pleaded guilty to the charges. “I’d like to plead guilty, your honour. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” Ms Griner said, speaking English which was then translated into Russian for the court. “I’d like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare.”
In early August, Ms Griner was sentenced to nine years behind bars. She filed an appeal of her conviction, which was taken up at a hearing on 25 October. At that appeal, a Russian court upheld their sentence with a prosecutor calling it “fair.”
On 17 November, Griner was relocated to a penal colony in Mordovia, about 350 kilometers (210 miles) east of Moscow.“Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment,” her lawyers said in a statement.Ms Griner’s lawyer, Alexandr Boykov, toldThe New York Times that his client “has not been in as good condition as I could sometimes find her in” in recent weeks.

2. Why was Brittney Griner in Russia?

who is brittney grinerSource: Reuters

Ms Griner had been in Russia to play basketball in the Russian Premier League. Many American athletes travel overseas during the US off-season to continue competing in their chosen sport. The off-season foreign leagues provide American athletes with additional money-making opportunities and a chance to keep their skills sharp through continuous competition.
US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner sits inside a defendants' cage before a hearing at the Khimki Court outside Moscow on 27July. WNBA stars like Ms Griner typically make, on average, a mere 1.5 percent of the salary that their male counterparts in the NBA make in a year, so playing outside of the US often helps make up for that pay disparity.
WASHINGTON — Brittney Griner, the American basketball star imprisoned in Russia on drug charges, was released on Thursday after nearly 10 months of captivity in a prisoner swap for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death.”
President Biden announced her release in a brief statement from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, with Cherelle Griner, Ms. Griner’s wife, smiling by his side. Ms. Griner was expected to land overnight in San Antonio and be examined at a U.S. Army hospital there.

3. What happened to Brittney Griner Now: Situation Updated

Source: nytimes

 WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russian detention, President Joe Biden said Thursday. Griner was released in a prisoner swap that involved Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. The exchange, however, did not include another American that the State Department has declared wrongfully detained, Paul Whelan.
“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden said at the White House Thursday morning alongside Griner’s wife, Cherelle. “After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under untolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.” Biden acknowledged that Griner’s release was occurring while Whelan remained imprisoned, saying that Whelan’s family “have to have such mixed emotions today.”
“This was not a choice of which American to bring home,” Biden said. “Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s. And while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release, we are not giving up. We will never give up.” Griner is expected to land in San Antonio, Texas, a US official told CNN. is a website that provides you with new updates and creative ideas to brighten your day. Don’t hesitate to visit our site to know more about daily updated news
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