Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years on drug charges by Russian court

WNBA star, Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in prison for drug possession by Russian criminal courts.

After around six months of detainment and a month-long trial, Brittney Griner has been sentenced by a judge to nine years in jail. The WNBA star was initially arrested for possession of cannabis vape cartridges found in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

The end result of her trial was expected, considering the fact that Russian criminal courts have a reported conviction rate of 99%. However, it seems that Brittney’s final fate may still be decided in the political sphere.

Brittney Griner
Credit: Evgenia Novozhenina / AFP via Getty Images

Since the onset of the basketball star’s detainment, the Biden administration has made attempts to negotiate her freedom, along with another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan.

There have even been reports of them offering a ‘prisoner swap’, which could see Griner and Whelan return to the US for their detainment, in exchange for Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout.

Credit: Evgenia Novozhenina / Reuters

So far, their negotiations have been unsuccessful, and Russian courts have stated that any prospective deal would have to wait until after the final verdict is made.

Shortly after Brittney Griner’s prison sentence was made known, US President, Joe Biden made the following statement: “One more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.”