Brittney Griner Russia Detention Extended, Lawsuit Revealed: WNBA News

The latest development will do nothing to ease the worries of an American star who faces an uncertain future after being arrested and detained.

American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is in Russia on suspicion of drug possession, will face court in Russia on July 1, a court said Monday.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained at Moscow airport in February after she was allegedly found with cannabis oil vape cartridges in her luggage.

She was charged with drug smuggling, which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years in Russia.

Griner’s arrest came days before Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored US warnings and sent troops into Ukraine, prompting Western powers to impose sweeping sanctions and send military aid to Kiev.

A court in the city of Khimki outside Moscow said Monday that Griner’s trial will begin on July 1.

Griner’s lawyer said Monday that the court had extended her detention for the duration of the trial. Her detention was reportedly extended for another six months.

Griner must remain in custody for most of the criminal trial.

“This was definitely to be expected,” Griner’s attorney said.

He said his client, who was seen by journalists being escorted in handcuffs, was “concerned”.

Australian basketball great Shane Heal responded to the latest development on Twitter, writing: “I feel sick. Poor girl held as a political pawn. Imagine she was your daughter and there’s nothing you can do about it. Her family and friends are standing by powerless.”

Washington says Russia falsely detained the 31-year-old 6-inch basketball star and turned her case over to the US special envoy in charge of hostages.

The WNBA has also said it is working to bring Griner home.

She is considered one of the best female basketball players in the world.

She played club basketball in Russia before the resumption of the American season, a common practice for American stars seeking additional income.