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Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drugs charges in Russian court: Report - The Athletic

Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drugs charges in Russian court: Report - The Athletic Image
  • Posted on 07th Jul, 2022 15:04 PM
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WNBA center Brittney Griner pleaded guilty in a Russian court Thursday to drugs charges, according to Reuters.

WNBA center Brittney Griner pleaded guilty in a Russian court Thursday to drugs charges, according to Reuters.

"I'd like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn't want to break the law," Griner said, per Reuters, speaking English which was then translated into Russian for the court.

Griner, 31, appeared Thursday in Khimki, Russia, for the second hearing of her trial, which began July 1, nearly five months after her arrest on charges of possessing hashish oil in her luggage at a Moscow-area airport. Her next court hearing is scheduled for July 14, Reuters reported.

At a preliminary hearing June 27, her detention was extended for another six months, and it was ordered Griner would remain in custody for the duration of the trial.

Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury who plays in Russia during the WNBA offseason, could face up to 10 years in prison. In February, she was returning to join her team in Ekaterinburg after a FIBA break when Russian authorities took her into custody on the charge of drug smuggling. Hashish oil, which authorities alleged they found in her luggage at Sheremetyevo Airport, is an illegal substance in Russia.

The Russian government claims Griner was responsible for a "large-scale transportation of drugs."

On Monday, Griner sent a letter to the White House asking President Joe Biden for his support in her release.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner, on Wednesday. The president pledged his support to Brittney, saying she "is wrongfully detained in Russia under intolerable circumstances."

According to a statement from the White House, Biden is "committed to ensuring they are provided with all possible assistance while his administration pursues every avenue to bring Brittney home."

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