Brittney Griner Says Translation Issues Complicated Her Arrest In Russia, Doesn’t Know How Cannabis Got In Her Bag

Brittney Griner took the stand in her own defense on Wednesday, testifying in Russian court that translation issues complicated her arrest in the country back in February.

The WNBA star testified that her rights were never explained to her when she was detained at a Moscow airport earlier this year. Griner also stated that Russian officials told her to sign documents without explaining what they said. She explained that she used a translation app on her phone to get a basic idea of what officials and papers said.

“Translations were not very good. I remember one time seeing a stack of papers that he was supposed to transfer to me, and he looked at me in a brief moment, and his exact words were basically, ‘You’re guilty,'” Griner said.

Griner was arrested for allegedly bringing in vape cartridges containing cannabis oils. She pleaded guilty to the drug charges on July 7.

Brittney Griner Speaks To Media, Defense Argues Cannabis For Injuries
Brittney Griner speaking with someone in Russian court. Getty Images

During her testimony on Wednesday, Griner said that she made a 13-hour flight from Arizona to Moscow while recovering from COVID-19.

When pleading guilty earlier this month, Griner explained she “packed in a hurry.” She made similar comments during her testimony on Wednesday. According to FOX News,  Griner explained that she didn’t know how the cannabis oils got in her bags. Griner said she had a doctor’s recommendation for the oils, but packed them in a hurry.

On Tuesday, Griner spoke to the media for the first time since being arrested saying she has “no complaints” about the current situation she finds herself in.

During Tuesday’s court session, Griner’s defense team made the argument that she had used medical cannabis in the past to help with the pain from injuries.

Medical marijuana is illegal in Russia. Griner is facing a possible jail sentence of up to 10 years.

Written by Mark Harris


Leave a Reply
  1. She doesn’t know how the illegal substances made it into her bag when she was arrived in Russia! I wonder how often that response works for other people that are convicted of possession crimes. Russia may take the Prisoner Swap, but yo be honest If I was Russia I would want a fair exchange…at least two prisoners from the deal. But then again maybe the one guy is worth two people or more. I have no clue. Maybe it’s good I’m not a crisis negotiator! 😝

  2. Now, I wouldn’t put it past the Russian government to plant drugs or frame Griner but based on the statements it sounds like either: a) she packed it and got caught, or b) she accidentally packed it in her bag (which seems unlikely)

    But if she had the cart on her while in Russia, she more than likely knowingly packed it to get to Russia. She didn’t “pack in a hurry” to get there.

    What I don’t understand is when/how she got caught. It seems like she was one of the last players returning home (not going there). If it was indeed a return flight, as it seems to be, why the hell would she try to salvage a weed cart when you can buy as many as you want once you land in AZ? My only guess is she’s traveled there before and hasn’t had a problem and thought she could fly out w/out issue. With all the build up to the war in Ukraine and rising tensions between the US & Russia why even risk it? A brand new cartridge is $40.

  3. She hates America because of systemic racism (whatever that is). I understand why she wants out of jail but why does she want to come back here? Leave her. She’s certainly not worth giving up the merchant of death.

Leave a Reply