/  03.23.2022

Two-time basketball Olympian and seven-time WNBA all-star Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury was detained in Russia recently amid the ongoing war between Russia and American-ally, Ukraine.

On March 5, it was announced that in February, Griner had been accused of drug smuggling charges for allegedly traveling with vape cartridges containing hash oil, a concentrated cannabis extract. The oil was said to be found in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. The charge could land her up to 10 years in prison.

At the time of arrest, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, who is Griner’s agent, did not dispute the allegations. In a statement to the press, Colas said, “We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams and the W.N.B.A. and N.B.A.”

During the WNBA’s offseason, Griner plays for the Russian women’s basketball team, UMMC Ekaterinburg — which may explain why she was in Russia at the time.

Many feared for Griner’s safety as the pro-athlete was incarcerated overseas during a war with an American enemy and scores of concerned people flooded social media praying for her safe return.

“Just came to remind you that Britney Griner is still in Russia, and the media barely mention her name let alone amplify her story. This is unacceptable. If Tom Brady were locked up in Russia there would be [continuous] coverage. Tell her story, and #BringBrittneyHome,” said one Twitter user.

On March 23, it seemed that prayers had been answered as reports began to circulate that Griner is in “good condition” and that the United States government had been granted access to her.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price gave the update but was not allowed to go into further detail at the time.

Stay tuned for more updates as this is a developing story.

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