Basketball – Brittney Griner found guilty of cannabis trafficking: “Unacceptable”, according to Biden

Russian justice has decided. Brittney Griner, accused of cannabis trafficking, was found guilty on Thursday of drug trafficking and sentenced to nine years in prison after her arrest with a vape containing cannabis liquid. “The court found the defendant guilty“of illegal possession and trafficking of a”significant amount“drugs, said judge Anna Sotnikova, according to an AFP journalist present at the Khimki court, near Moscow. For her part, the 31-year-old player denies any smuggling.

Biden fumes

In the process, the American president, Joe Biden, reacted: “This is unacceptable and I call on Russia to release her immediately so that she can be reunited with her wife, relatives and teammates.“.


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Earlier in the day, the American basketball star had seen the Russian prosecutor’s office request nine and a half years in prison against her. “I demand that Griner be found guilty and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison in a classi regime (penal) colony.that” and a fine of one million rubles (16,000 euros), said prosecutor Nikolai Vlassenko.

It was practically the maximum possible requisition for this act, set at 10 years in prison. Arrested in February with cannabis-based vaping liquid when arriving in Moscow, Brittney Griner, 31 years old and estimated to be 2.06 meters tall, is considered one of the best basketball players in the world. Double Olympic champion, she pleaded guilty while claiming to have supplied this substance to Russia inadvertently and refuting any drug trafficking. On Thursday, the prosecutor assured her that she had knowingly tried to “to hide“to customs officers at the airport this cannabis-based liquid.

“Professional and Appropriate”

The Phoenix Mercury player had come to Russia to play during the American offseason, a common practice for WNBA basketball players who often earn more money abroad than in the United States. She had been arrested at the airport with cannabis vaping liquid. She admitted having been in possession of this substance, however claiming to have brought it to Russia by mistake.

Above all, she refuted any traffic, proved that this small quantity of substance was only for her personal consumption, for analgesic purposes, because she suffers from chronic pain like many athletes. A lawyer for the player, Maria Blagovolina, asked the court to acquit the American player, to authorize the small quantity of offending liquid distributed by Griner in Russia. “Everyone who knows Brittney points to her professionalism and dedicationadded his other lawyer, Alexander Boïkov.

Brittney Griner basketball player

Credit: Getty Images


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