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The Chronicle of Brittney Griner’s Arrest In Russia

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The Chronicle of Brittney Griner's Arrest In Russia
Brittney Griner in court. Image source: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images.

The WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist has recently made a buzz on the Internet. The Russian forces arrested Brittney Griner for felony drug charges. She later confessed to carrying cannabis oil with her, which is illegal in Russia.

Griner had no criminal intents and made it clear that she was just in haste while packing her suitcase.

The Basketball Player’s Arrest

Brittney Griner immediately went under arrest after the x-ray of her bag at the Moscow airport. The scan allegedly detected that the basketball player transported hash oil vapes. 

Up to now, there have been 5 court sessions. No indication of how long this trial will last, but Griner shall remain detained until Dec 20, 2022. 

Griner explains that the substance “ended up in my bags by accident… and I take responsibility, but I did not intend to smuggle or planned to smuggle to Russia,” Brittney Griner, arrested at a Moscow airport in February, explained.

Others defended the case by providing a U.S doctor recommendation letter. It mentioned that the medical cannabis was intended to use for treating Griner’s pain. Cannabis oil has allegedly less harmful effects than other painkillers. Brittney testified that her pain has resulted from her many injuries during her career.

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner arrives at a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 27, 2022.

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner arrives at a hearing at the Khimki Court. Image source: Yahoo News.

However, the Russians happened to not be on the same wavelength. A Foreign Russian Ministry representative stated last week that U.S laws on cannabis have nothing to do with Russia. Hard one! The star pleaded guilty at her second hearing on Jul 1, 2022. She could face up to 10 years behind bars if held guilty of carrying drugs.

A List of Witnesses

Many Americans supported the star during this crucial time. Including on board, Dr. Galabin spoke in favor, stating Griner never tested positive for doping during her games. Not forgetting Russian Narcologist Dr. Tetyushkin said that professional athletes use cannabis to treat injuries. All thanks to its therapeutic and healing properties. 

However, constant use can damage one’s ability to coordinate muscle activation, for example, walking. This is the very reason why Tetyushkin advised one not to consume on a long-term basis. The doctor also noted no difference between medical and recreational cannabis in international law.

Things Go In A Twist

So far, the Houston-born player testified during her trial that the language interpreter did not provide the complete translation. Moreover, authorities told her to sign documents without explaining anything. Griner was also neither able to meet her lawyers nor gained insight into her rights. Something is cooking up!

“No, my rights were not explained to me. Nobody explained anything to me,” Griner said. “There was a woman there who said that she is a translator, but she only translated words like, ‘name, signature.'”

Additionally, Brittney mentioned that she faced similar issues where the interpreter struggled to find the right words, such as her meeting with an investigator. After that, Griner was free to hand over her personal stuff to an attorney before she was handcuffed and taken away.

“The translations weren’t very good,” Griner said. “I remember one time him receiving stacks of paper that he was supposed to translate to me, and he looked at them for a brief moment, and (his) exact words were: ‘Basically you are guilty.'”

Griner’s Background

Born Oct 18, 1990, Griner is a well-known American professional basketball player who won the WNBA championship in 2014. She forms part of the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association. 

As a matter of fact, Brittney is the first NCAA ballplayer to have 2000 points and 500 obstructed shots. Additionally, the 6 feet tall player won the AP Player of the Year and was among the Final Four Most Outstanding Players. She came out as a lesbian in 2013 and publicly revealed her sexual orientation. After splitting with her former wife, Johnson, Brittney married Cherelle Watson.

Brittney Griner with her wife Cherelle. Image source: Instagram/@cherelletgriner.

The U.S and Russia Tension

Griner has been in detention for more than five months now. Many of her friends and relatives have been worrying about the Basketball player. They’ve concluded that Griner shouldn’t be in detention, an expression Russians strongly disagree with. She’s held as a pawn, for a prisoner switch seemingly. 

Even American soccer Rapinoe raised this concern last week. While this is American thoughts, the Russian media guessed Victor Bout – a Russian Arms trader behind the U.S bars- comes off as the exchange for the Basketball player. It could also help with Paul Whelan, an American locked up in Russia for spying. 

Updates on Griner’s Case

There’s no timetable for the trial yet. This indeed creates a stressful situation. Brittney has been contacting Joe Biden and imploring him to help her win this case and ease her return.

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner holds photographs standing inside a defendants' cage before a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 27, 2022.

WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner holds photographs standing inside a defendant’s cage before a hearing at the Khimki Court. Image source: Yahoo News.

Griner even wrote down a letter to the U.S. President: “Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020, and I voted for you…my freedom [is what] you can help restore.” Brittney added that she misses her wife, family, and co-players.

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner gets handcuffs taken off before a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 27, 2022.

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner gets handcuffs taken off before a hearing at the Khimki Court. Image source: Yahoo News.

What’s Awaiting Next for Griner?

After going through such a storm, Brittney’s lawyers praised her bravery and courage. Griner does not shun problems but faces them fiercely as she wants to set an inspiring example to her followers. Her subsequent trial will be on Aug 2, 2022.

Written by Satina Bungsy

Want more news on Griner’s developing stories? Catch up on FMHipHop headlines to know more

Passionate Writer & Musician

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