American basketball player sentenced to 9 years of jail time in Russia

NEWS 04.08.2022 17:58
Source: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / AFP / Profimedia

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced by a Russian court to 9 years of jail time with a fine of 1 million rubles (roughly $16,400), Judge Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court said Thursday.

The court said it took into account her partial admission of guilt, remorse for the deed, state of health and charitable activities.

Griner was found guilty of drug smuggling, a crime the judge said she committed deliberately. Griner was arrested with less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport on Feb. 17.

She said it was “an honest mistake” due to packing in a hurry.

Her lawyers argued that if Griner ever used medical marijuana, it was only at home back in Arizona, where it is legal, very rarely, in the short periods between competitions and on vacation, only on the prescription of a doctor for her severe pain from sports injuries.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist apologized in her final statement in court Thursday and asked for the court’s leniency, explaining that she had no intent to break any Russian laws.


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