Brittney Griner hopefully is trying her best to keep her head up as a former top Pentagon official said Saturday that she’s concerned Russia is detaining the WNBA superstar as “leverage over the United States.”
Griner was arrested at an airport near Moscow weeks ago after Russian authorities searched her luggage and allegedly found vape cartridges containing hashish oil. The Russian Federal Customs Service issued a statement on Saturday that it has opened a criminal investigation into the transportation of drugs, which in Russia can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
A newly released video shows Griner passing through customs:
Griner’s situation is only likely to be worse as Russia is facing severe economic sanctions from the U.S. and other nations, sanctions that Vladimir Putin on Saturday declared akin to an act of war.
In a statement released Saturday, Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said, “We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA.”
Griner is one of many American women’s basketball stars who take thier talents overseas during the winter to make more money than they do here in the states. Longtime women’s basketball agent Mike Cound told Yahoo Sports on Saturday that Griner’s Russian team “pays per month at a level no one matches.”