Brittney Griner's agent has urged Biden and Harris to "do whatever it takes" to bring the WNBA star back to the United States from Russia.

Jun 15, 2022By chetan

Brittney Griner's imprisonment in Russia has been prolonged for the third time.

Brittney Griner's agent spoke out after the WNBA star's incarceration in Russia was prolonged for another several weeks on Tuesday.

The move, according to Lindsay Kagawa Colas on Twitter, is just more confirmation that the Phoenix Mercury center is "being utilized as a political pawn." She urged President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to act quickly to return the basketball player to the United States from Moscow.

Brittney Griner, an American basketball player who was detained in February and has spent more than three months in prison on drug accusations, had her pre-trial detention extended by a Russian court on Tuesday. Griner, 31, was seized in Russia following an airport inspection for reportedly having hashish oil in her vape cartridges. Before Tuesday's extension, Griner's pre-trial custody had been prolonged to May 19, and then for another 30 days. According to Russia's state-run TASS news agency, Griner will now be held in detention at least until July 2. The court's 18-day extension for Griner was granted at "the request of the investigation," according to the agency.

On Feb. 17, riner was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow after officials allegedly discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her suitcase, which is banned in Russia. She was accused with "large-scale drug transportation" and faces a maximum sentence of ten years in jail.

The detention occurred a week before Russia attacked Ukraine, and some US officials are afraid that Americans imprisoned in Russia could be used as bargaining chips. Griner's status was changed to "wrongfully held" by the US government last month, indicating that the US will take more proactive actions to liberate him rather than waiting for the Russian court system to address the situation.

During the offseason, Griner was in Russia to play basketball for UMMC Ekaterinburg of the Russian Premier League. Women's basketball players frequently compete for teams overseas during their offseasons in the United States in order to supplement their income. The 6-foot-9 center earned an NCAA championship at Baylor in 2012, a WNBA championship with the Phoenix Mercury in 2014, and gold medals with the United States women's team at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. The WNBA honored Griner with a floor decal with her initials and jersey number (No. 42) on the sidelines of all 12 WNBA courts before the season began on May 6.

Us state department spoke person Price stated, "Brittney Griner should not be held." "She should not be held in custody for another day.

"In regards to her case, we are in constant communication. We get in touch with her team and network on a regular basis... We continue to demand that all American detainees be granted regular and unrestricted access.

"That is precisely why we are doing everything we can to secure her immediate release from Russian custody."

A request for comment from Griner's team, the Phoenix Mercury, and the WNBA was not immediately returned. Griner's family, according to a spokesman, has declined to comment at this time.

In May, the State Department ruled that the 31-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist had been unfairly detained, and officials have been assigned to work on her release.

Mercury representatives have also visited with US State Department officials, including the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

The State Department confirmed in a statement to Reuters that "on June 13, representatives from the Department, including the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA), met with the Phoenix Mercury."

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