After spending ten months in a Russian prison, American basketball player Brittney Griner was released on Thursday as part of a prisoner exchange. She is on her way to the United States.
“I just spoke to Brittney Griner. She’s free. She’s on the plane. She’s on her way home.” US President Joe Biden himself announced the good news this Thursday at the start of the afternoon: detained for ten months in a Russian prison, the 32-year-old American basketball player is free! She was released as part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and the United States. Player from Yekaterinburg since 2015, the No. 1 of the 2013 WNBA draft was arrested on her arrival at Moscow airport on February 17 because she had illegal vaping cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. . The war between Russia and Ukraine, triggered a few days later, did not help his situation, the United States supporting Ukraine. On August 4, the player was finally sentenced to 9 years in prison and a fine of 16,000 euros for drug trafficking. But the pressure put by the United States, starting with President Biden, has visibly borne fruit and Brittney Griner was exchanged this Thursday in Abu Dhabi with the Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, imprisoned in the United States. This is the second exchange of prisoners in eight months between the two countries.
Four-time Euroleague winner Griner with Yekaterinburg
“It’s a day we’ve been working on for a long time. We never stopped pressing for his release. It took painstaking and intense negotiations, and I want to thank all of the hard-working public servants in my administration who worked tirelessly to secure his release,” said Biden, who was with Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherel. A Phoenix player for almost ten years in the WNBA, Griner had gotten used to playing the American season in the summer, and the rest of the year in Europe.and Yekaterinburg had become her usual base, and she had also won four Euroleagues there between 2016 and 2021. Also 2014 WNBA champion, 2014 and 2018 world champion and 2016 and 2020 Olympic champion with Team USA, she does not risk Not to set foot in a Russian club anytime soon…