Spread the news

American Government has said it now considers double Olympic basketball gold medallist Brittney Griner to be “wrongfully detained” in Russia, signalling a step-up in efforts to secure her release.

Griner was arrested at an airport in Moscow in February after Russian customs officials said they found she was in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil.

She has not been formally charged, but is due to have a hearing on May 19.

Since then, tensions between the US and Russia have escalated due to the invasion of Ukraine.

read also:UCL fallout: We’re determined and focused to play in final, says Real Madrid defender Valverde

The US State Department confirmed the latest status of Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and for UMMC Ekaterinburg of the Russian Premier League during the close season.

“The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained US citizen Brittney Griner,” the State Department said.

“With this determination, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens will lead the interagency team for securing Brittney Griner’s release.”

It added that “the welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the US Government”.

The move was welcomed by WNBA Players Association President Nneka Ogwumike.

“It has been 75 days that our friend, team-mate, sister, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia,” Ogwumike posted on Twitter.

“It is time for her to come home.

“Having learned that the US Government has now determined that BG [Brittney Griner] is being wrongfully detained, we are hopeful that their efforts will be significant, swift and successful.”

The WNBA has said it plans to feature Griner’s initials and her number, 42, along the sideline of each of its 12 courts for the 2022 season.

The league has also allowed the Phoenix Mercury to register a replacement player until Griner returns home, and said she will be paid her full salary.

Griner, a centre who is 6ft 9in tall, was a member of the US women’s basketball team which triumphed at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

The American, also a member of the US team that won the International Basketball Federation World Cup in 2014 and 2018, is the only woman in US college history to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots.

She has represented Russia’s leading club team UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2014.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Spread the news
Advertisement

MELODYBIZ 50% DISCOUNT


Have you always desired a smooth online shopping experience. Do you have dreams of putting your goods out on platforms where you can get customers all over Nigeria. Then MelodyBiz Store is the right place for you. We offer competitive prices on goods and services and you can be rest assured to get what you ordered in the stipulated time. Log-on to MelodyBiz and experience a different dynamics of shopping
Previous articleWhat stats say ahead of LaLiga matchday 35
Next articleMedals revealed for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here