State Department: Detained WNBA Star Griner Is In Good Condition

Brittney Griner was arrested at a Russian airport earlier this month after vape cartridges in her luggage allegedly contained cannabis oil.
Posted at 8:58 AM, Mar 24, 2022

The U.S. State Department says a U.S. Embassy official has visited with WNBA star Brittney Griner, who remains detained near Moscow, to check on her condition.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Wednesday that the official found Griner "is doing as well as can be expected under these very difficult circumstances."

Price did not identify the official who had been granted consular access to Griner, something the United States had been demanding.

Griner was detained after arriving at a Moscow airport, reportedly in mid-February, after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Russian state news agency Tass reported last week that a court had extended Griner’s pretrial detention to May 19.

A member of a Russian state-backed prison monitoring group visited with Griner last week at the pretrial detention facility outside Moscow where she’s being held and said the Phoenix Mercury star was faring well behind bars.

"It is our expectation that this not be a one off visit," said Price. "Again, we want timely, consistent access to American detainees in Russia, including those in pretrial detention that would call for additional visits to Brittney Griner and to other Americans who are detained in Russia."

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.