Reports are coming forth that WNBA star Brittney Griner is currently detained in Russia on drug smuggling charges. Officials say they discovered vaporizer cartridges containing THC oil in Griner’s luggage.
Two Russian language outlets, Interfax News and Sport BC, both report that Griner, 31, was arrested by Russian Federal Customs Service officials at Sheremetyevo Airport near Moscow. The authorities reportedly found the vape cartridges containing cannabis oil after drug-sniffing dogs discovered the goods.
The arrest took place at some point in February but the exact date isn’t known. Griner has not shared posts on social media since early last month. However, the Customs Service issued a press statement saying that it is investigating “transportation of drugs” into Russia. The country is notoriously harsh when it comes to drug charges with convictions landing up to 10 years behind bars.
Griner has played internationally when the WNBA is on break for the past few years.
The Pheonix Mercury issued a statement regarding Brittney Griner’s legal predicament:
We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.
When this story develops further, we’ll return with updates.