Russian authorities detain Brittney Griner — one of America’s most decorated female basketball players: Report

Brittney Griner, WNBA star and former gold medal-winning Olympian, has reportedly been detained in Russia.

What are the details?

According to a Saturday report from The New York Times, Russian Federal Customs Service reportedly detained Griner in late February “after finding vape cartridges that contained hashish oil” inside her luggage at an airport near Moscow.

A statement from the customs service, obtained by CNN, read, “‘As a U.S. citizen was passing through the green channel at Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo Customs canine department detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage.'”

“The customs inspection of the hand luggage being carried by the US citizen confirmed the presence of vapes with specifically smelling liquid, and an expert determined that the liquid was cannabis oil (hash oil), which is a narcotic substance,'” the statement added.

Griner is still reportedly detained at the time of this reporting.

What else is there to know about this?

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, did not dispute the reports of Griner’s purported detention.

“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 told the Times for the Saturday report. “As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.”

It is not known at the time of this reporting why Griner was in the war-torn region.

On Saturday, the U.S. State Department released an updated advisory urging U.S. citizens to leave Russia immediately due to the ongoing escalation of war in neighboring Ukraine, and cited a “potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials.”

Former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael A. McFaul, told the outlet that the news should come as a concern to all Americans in the country.

“I obviously don’t know the circumstances of her detention, but Griner’s arrest should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans in Russia,” McFaul said. “Get out. Shut down your businesses now.”

The WNBA in a statement added that Griner “has the W.N.B.A.’s full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States.”



Sarah Taylor