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Brittany GreenerThe American basketball star and Olympic gold medalist found out her fate in a Russian court last month after pleading guilty to drug charges.
A Russian judge Griner guilty She was sentenced to 9 years in prison for drug and drug trafficking. She was also fined one million rubles, which is about $16,400.
Griner, 31, appeared at the Khimki court outside Moscow. She apologized before sentencing as prosecutors pushed for a 9.5-year sentence.
“I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city (of Yekaterinburg) for my mistake,” she said. “I also want to apologize to my parents, siblings, the Phoenix Mercury at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing wife back home.”
Griner said she made an “honest mistake” in February by bringing vape cartridges containing cannabis-derived oils to a Moscow airport, adding, “I hope your decision doesn’t cost me my life.”
Griner was returning to the Russian basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg after taking a break from the season for international play. She calls Yekaterinburg her “second home.”
“In my 6 1/2 years here, I never thought the team, the cities, the fans, my teammates would make such a big impression on me. I remember clearly walking out of the gym and all the little girls. Those in the stands were waiting for me, and that’s what kept me coming back.” She said to me.
Russian prosecutors argued that Griner intentionally possessed cannabis oil. Griner’s lawyers argued that Griner was using marijuana to treat pain, but Russian officials said that US laws regarding the legality of the drug have no bearing on the Russian justice system.
The US State Department has classified Griner as “wrongfully detained.” United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said last week The Biden administration has offered a “useful proposal.” Back to basketball player and fellow American Paul Whelan.
Blinken said at the press conference that the Biden administration presented the proposal weeks ago and is hoping to discuss it. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov For the first time since February 15
Russian media speculated that the business may have been an arms dealer for Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States for conspiring and aiding and abetting the assassination of American citizens. A terrorist organization.
White House Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that Russia responded to the U.S. government’s request in “bad faith.” She did not elaborate.
Russian authorities have made it clear that no prisoner swaps are possible until convictions and sentences have been handed down.
President Biden Responds to Russia Sentencing
“Today, American Britney Griner received a prison sentence, one more reminder that the world already knows that Russia is unjustly imprisoning Britney. It is unacceptable, and I am calling for her immediate release from Russia to be with her beloved wife. My administration will continue to work tirelessly to bring Britney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.” “It works and follows all possible avenues,” he said.
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.