WNBA star Brittney Griner is being sentenced to nine years in prison after being found guilty of drug charges in a Russian court.
Griner pled guilty to drug charges and has been jailed in Russia since February after Russian authorities claim they found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. The Phoenix Mercury player made the guilty plea in an effort to gain leniency. She is at the center of a proposed “prisoner swap” that the White House is trying to negotiate that involves a Russian arms dealer jailed in the U.S.
The commissioners from the WNBA and NBA say Brittney Griner’s sentence of nine years in a Russian prison is unjustified and unfortunate. Cathy Engelbert and Adam Silver released a joint statement regarding Griner’s sentence after she was found guilty on drug charges today. The two commissioners said Griner remains “wrongly detained” and both league commitments to her safe return has not “wavered.” They concluded they hope the end of this process is near and hope Griner will be brought back to the U.S. soon.