Sports

Russia extends Brittney Griner's arrest until May 19, state news agency says

Brittney Griner
Posted at 10:48 AM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 10:48:23-04

Russian state news agency Tass says a Moscow court announced it has extended the arrest of WNBA star Brittney Griner until May 19.

Griner was detained at a Moscow airport in February after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges. Russia says those cartridges were identified as containing oil derived from cannabis.

In announcing the arrest earlier this month, the Russian Customs Service said the charges Griner faces could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The United States embassy in Moscow did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The 31-year-old Griner is one of the most recognizable players in women’s basketball. The seven-time All-Star has won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. and a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury.

Griner was in Russia because she plays for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the WNBA offseason. It's fairly common for American women to play in Russia during the WNBA offseason, as Russian clubs offer much higher salaries than WNBA teams.

The WNBA season opens May 6.