WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for drug possession and smuggling.
Griner was detained by Russian authorities on February 17th for transporting “vape cartridges containing cannabis oil” en route to play in Yekaterinburg.
“Today’s verdict is unjustified and unfortunate, but not unexpected and Brittney Griner remains wrongly detained,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote in a joint statement.
“The WNBA and NBA’s commitment to her safe return has not wavered and it is our hope that we are near the end of this process of finally bringing BG home to the United States.”
Griner has been the subject of a prisoner swap debate between the United States and Russia.
“I call on Russia to release her [Griner] immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates,” U.S. President Joe Biden said.