Russia sentences American basketball star Brittney Griner to 9 years in prison

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Russia sentences American basketball star Brittney Griner to 9 years in prison

Justice The Russian Federation has sentenced this Thursday to nine years in prison the American basketball player Brittney Grinerfor possession and smuggling of drugs strong>. The 31-year-old athlete admitted Her “mistake” in introducing cannabis oil in vape cartridges into Russian territory, but she also He was granted clemency during the hearing held at the Khimki urban court in the Moscow region.

His sentence could pave the way for a high-level prisoner exchange between Russia and Russia. United States. Last week, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, proposed to his Russian colleague, Sergei Lavrov, the exchange of Griner and Paul Whelan, sentenced to 16 years for espionage, for Victor But, alias the “merchant of death”, who is serving 25 years in prison in an American prison. Moscow asked for He included a second Russian prisoner, the Chechen Vadím Krásikov, but the White House rejected it, according to the report. CNN.

The conviction of Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and star of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), has caused a stir in her country. The President of the United States, Joe Biden, qualified He called the ruling “unacceptable” and said the White House will work on it. tirelessly in pursuit of his release. “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is yet another reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is unfairly holding Brittney,” he said. Biden. “It is unacceptable and I ask Russia to release her immediately so that she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates.”

Cannabis oil

Griner was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. She declared & gué; She was guilty, but she said she had not intended to bring a banned substance into Russia or to harm anyone. In a tearful statement before the verdict, Griner implored the judge to recognize her actions as a mistake. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that her sentencing doesn't end my life,” she said in court before breaking down in tears.

The vaping cartridges threw the Texan athlete into the geopolitical maelstrom unleashed when President Vladimir Putin sent an email. troops to Ukraine on February 24. During the most tense relations between the United States and Russia since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, Biden is being pressured to intervene on behalf of Americans held in Russia.

Promising future

The power forward of the Russian team Ekaterinburg She is 2.03 meters tall and was one of the star players of the American team. She was chosen number 1 in the draft of the 2013 WNBA for the Phoenix Mercury, the only American professional team in which she has played since then and in which she is one of its outstanding players. With this he conquered They won the WNBA title in 2014 and were a finalist in 2021, when they were edged out by the Chicago Sky. On 8 occasions, the last in 2022 in a testimonial way, she has been included for the WNBA All-Star.

Outside the US, he played in 2014 in the Chinese Beijing Great Wall, stay in the suffered; A mishap on November 3 of that year when she was assaulted and stabbed shortly after training with her team. Since 2015 she has played for the Russian club UGMK Ekaterinburg, the most powerful team in European basketball, which has three Euroleagues. In this group, he has the Spanish coach Miguel Méndez (also the national coach) and in it he has coincided with the Spanish Alba Torrens.

A key player in the American quintet, it was proclaimed world champion in Turkey in October 2014, when she won & oacute; She went to Spain and she was included in the quintet of the tournament, and in Tenerife in September 2018, beating Australia in the final. In this tournament she was chosen as the best player of that decisive match. In addition, he is a double Olympic gold medalist; in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021.

The player made her homosexuality public in 2013 in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine. and it is married since 2019 with Cherelle Watson (Griner). She had previously been in a relationship with Glory Johnson, also a WNBA player, but the relationship came to a tumultuous end. They went to court and both were suspended in 2015 with 7 matches for gender-based violence in the couple.

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