Basketball star Brittney Griner jailed in Russia appeals against conviction | World News


The defence team for US basketball star Brittney Griner has appealed against her conviction for drugs possession and trafficking in Russia.

Griner was jailed for nine years on 4 August after she pleaded guilty to the charges.

The athlete, who played for Russian team Yekaterinburg during the WNBA off-season, was arrested at a Moscow airport on 17 February after cannabis-infused vape cartridges were found in her luggage.

U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, is escorted after the court's verdict in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia August 4, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

Griner, who was also a centre for the Phoenix Mercury and is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, said she had made an “honest mistake” by entering Russia with cannabis oil, which is illegal in the country.

“I want to apologise to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them,” Griner said after her conviction.

“I want to also apologise to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organisation back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home.

“I made an honest mistake and I hope that, in your ruling, it doesn’t end my life here.”

The US government says Griner, 31, was wrongfully detained.

It has offered to exchange her for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer serving a 25-year prison sentence in the US.



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