New York Times: Double Olympic Gold Medalist and WNBA Star Brittney Griner Arrested in Russia for Drug Trafficking

Russian news agency TASS quoted a police source identifying the American woman who was arrested for drug trafficking as Griner, 31, upon her arrival from New York, according to the report.

Russia’s Federal Customs Service did not identify the woman as Griner in a statement quoted in a report by Russia’s Interfax news agency, which read: “”As a US citizen passed through green at Sheremetyevo Airport on arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo Customs Canine Service detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage.'”

“” Customs inspection of the hand luggage carried by the US citizen confirmed the presence of vapes with a particularly fragrant liquid, and an expert determined that the liquid was cannabis oil (hash oil), which is a narcotic substance,” Customs said. service said in the statement.

Interfax, citing the Customs Service, said the US citizen had been detained and arrested and noted that a criminal case had been opened against her.

A State Department spokesperson told CNN on Saturday, “We are aware of reports of an American citizen being arrested in Moscow. Whenever an American citizen is arrested overseas, we are prepared. to provide all appropriate consular services.”

Griner currently plays for the Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg. Griner has played with the team since 2015 during the WNBA offseason. In five games this season, she is averaging 13.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

The star player, who won the WNBA championship with the Mercury in 2014, averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season with Phoenix. Griner is also a two-time FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Championship medalist with Team USA.

CNN has reached out to Griner’s rep for comment.

USA Basketball, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the Mercury and the WNBA Players Union have publicly shared their concerns for Griner.

USA Basketball, the sport’s governing body in the United States, said in a statement that it was “aware of and closely monitoring the legal situation Brittney Griner faces in Russia. Brittney has always conducted herself with the utmost professionalism during his long tenure with USA Basketball, and his safety and well-being are our primary concerns.”

The WNBA said Griner had his “full support,” adding that his top priority was “his quick and safe return to the United States.”

The Phoenix Mercury said it is “closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia” as they remain “in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and the NBA. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and safe return home.”

The National Women’s Basketball Players Association said in a statement that it was “aware of the situation in Russia regarding one of our members, Brittney Griner. Our utmost concern is the safety and well-being of BG. On behalf of The 144, we send our love and support. We will continue to follow closely and look forward to his return to the United States.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated when Griner was arrested. She was arrested by Russian customs officers in February.


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