A video has emerged of Brittney Griner going through security at a Moscow airport, where she was reportedly arrested last month after Russian officials found vape cartridges containing hashish oil during a search of her luggage.
In footage from the the Russian Federal Customs Service obtained by CBS News, the 6' 9" Griner can be seen being pulled aside by Customs Service officials in the Sheremetyevo International Airport. The video then shows an individual rummaging through Griner’s belongings as the WNBA star sat close by.
The Customs Service said its officials had detained an American basketball player on drug charges in February, be did not reveal detainee’s identity in a statement, the New York Times reported on Saturday. Russian news agency TASS, citing a law enforcement source, later identified the individual as Griner.
According to the Customs Service statement, a criminal case involving the American basketball player “has been opened into the large-scale transportation of drugs,” which can carry a jail sentence of up to 10 years in Russia.
On Saturday, Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, did not dispute reports of her client’s arrest. “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 WNBA and NBA,” she said in a statement, per the NYT.
The WNBA, Team USA and Mercury all released statements in support of Griner on Saturday. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly commented on the situation regarding the WNBA star Sunday.
“Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we of course stand ready to provide every possible assistance,” Blinken said. “And that includes in Russia.”
The 31-year-old Griner is a seven-time WNBA All-Star for the Phoenix and won gold medals with the U.S. national team in 2016 and 2021. She has also played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League since 2014.
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