Brittney Griner’s Appeal Of Drug Conviction Denied By Russian Court

Brittney Griner center for Phoenix Mercury at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix,AZ USA May 23,2017.

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Brittney Griner’s appeal of a nine-year sentence for drug smuggling charges has been denied.

On Tuesday, Russian courts upheld the conviction which paves the way for the WNBA star to begin serving her prison sentence unless the United States is able to intervene and negotiate her release.

The hearing was held at the Moscow Regional Court with Griner participating via video call from the penal colony outside of Moscow where she is being held.

Griner has been detained since February after Russian officials claim vape cartridges containing cannabis oil was found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow. As a result, Russian officials launched a drug trafficking investigation into the 31-year-old Phoenix Mercury star. She was charged with “large-scale transportation of drugs.”

For the last seven years, Griner has played for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason. She last played on January 29 before a two-week break for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

While Griner is behind bars, the WNBA is honoring her with a “BG42” logo on every court.

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