Brittney Griner will remain in detention in Russia
Brittney Griner is in detention in Russia. © Tim Clayton / Corbis via Getty Images
US women’s basketball star Brittney Griner will remain in custody in Russia after a court rejected her appeal following her arrest at a Moscow airport on drug charges last month.
A Moscow district court confirmed the decision on Thursday after Griner – who is a two-time Olympic champion – and her legal team had sought her release.
“The decision of the Khimki court [in Moscow] is left unchanged, the appeals are not satisfied,” the judge was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
The news agency said that one day previously Griner’s detention had been extended for a further two months while her case is investigated.
Griner, 31, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after arriving from New York in February, with customs checks finding several vaping devices which contained a banned hashish oil.
The basketball star, who plays for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason in the US, was detained under the section of the Russian criminal code which covers the smuggling of narcotics.
The date of Griner’s detention is said to have been February 18, according to RIA, citing prosecutors, with the sportswoman potentially facing between five and 10 years in jail.