Brittney Griner's Appeal Of 9-Year Prison Sentence Denied In Russian Court

A Russian court denied Brittney Griner's appeal on Tuesday and upheld her prison sentence of nine years on drug charges. The WNBA star was found guilty in early August after pleading guilty the month prior.

In a statement read in court, Griner explained that she "did not intend to do this" and was hopeful that pleading guilty would help her chances with the appeal.


With the denial of the appeal, a potential high-profile prisoner swap may be the only way Griner is released from Russian prison early.

Griner was arrested in February at an airport in Moscow when customs officials said she was carrying vape cartridges containing hash oil. When Griner pleaded guilty to the drug charges, she explained she had “packed in a hurry.”

With President Joe Biden and the White House continuing to drag their feet in this situation, Griner has become extremely pessimistic about an early release.

“She is not yet absolutely convinced that America will be able to take her home,” Griner’s lawyer, Alexandr D. Boykov told The New York Times earlier this month. “She is very worried about what the price of that will be, and she is afraid that she will have to serve the whole sentence here in Russia.”

Unlike America, where releasing prisoners back on the street before they serve their full sentences is becoming normal, Russia rarely releases prisoners early.

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and all other happenings in the world of golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.