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State Department officials meet with Griner’s WNBA team

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WASHINGTON (AP) — State Department officials met Monday with representatives of Brittney Griner’s WNBA team about the Phoenix Mercury star’s months-long detention in Russia and the Biden administration’s efforts to secure his release.

The State Department confirmed the meeting, which involved officials from its specialized office that defends hostages and wrongfully detained Americans, but provided no additional details about what was said or who specifically attended.

The administration has previously said it is working to bring Griner and another Michigan US corporate security official, Paul Whelan, back from Russia.

Griner was arrested Feb. 17 at an airport in Russia after authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing a cannabis derivative. In May, the State Department reclassified Griner as wrongfully detained and transferred oversight of her case to the State Department’s Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, or SPEHA.


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