WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia has been extended through May 19, per a report from Tass.
The Russian news agency obtained a statement on the extension from a Moscow court.
“The court granted the request of the investigation and extended the period of detention of the U.S. citizen Griner until May 19,” the court said, via ESPN.
Griner, 31, was detained at a Moscow airport on Feb. 17 after a luggage search done by Russian authorities revealed she was in possession of vape cartridges. The cartridges reportedly contained oil derived from cannabis. Such an infraction could carry a maximum of 10 years in Russian prison.
Griner’s been playing in Russia during the WNBA offseason for the last seven years. She was suiting up for UMMC Ekaterinburg, which pays her more than $1 million per season — more than quadruple her WNBA salary.
The WNBA season is set to tip-off on May 6, meaning the Phoenix Mercury will be without the services of the seven-time All-Star. Griner averaged 20.5 PPG and 9.5 RPG in 2021, leading Phoenix to the WNBA Finals. The Chicago Sky defeated the Mercury 3-1 in the series.
Since her arrest, Griner’s group has declined to talk publicly, instead working privately to initiate her release.
“Everyone’s getting the strategy of say less and push more privately behind the scenes,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “It’s the strategy you get from the State Department and administration. It’s our No. 1 priority in talking with her agent and strategists.”
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