The WNBA’s Brittney Griner was reportedly arrested in Russia after officers found hash oil in her luggage

WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia last month at a Moscow airport after a search of her luggage discovered e-cigarette cartridges.

Russian Customs Service said on Saturday that the cartridges contained oil made from cannabis, which could carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Customs identified the arrested person as a player on the US women’s team and did not provide the date of her arrest. Russian media reported that the player was Griner and their agent did not deny these reports.

“We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representative in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and the NBA,” Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said Saturday. “As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to comment further on the details of her case, but can confirm that her mental and physical health remains our primary concern as we work to bring her home.”


On Saturday, the State Department issued a “travel ban” notice to Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, urging all U.S. citizens to leave immediately, citing factors including “the potential for harassment of U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials.” and “the embassy’s limited ability to assist Americans in Russia.”

Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has played winters in Russia for the past seven years and has earned over $1 million per season — more than four times her WNBA salary. She last played for her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 before the league went on a two-week hiatus in early February for the FIBA ​​World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Griner, 31, has won two Olympic gold medals with the USA, a WNBA championship with the Mercury and a national championship with Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star.

“Brittney Griner has the full support of the WNBA and our top priority is her speedy and safe return to the United States,” the league said in a statement.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The WNBA’s Brittney Griner was reportedly arrested in Russia after officers found hash oil in her luggage

Dais Johnston

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