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U.S. WNBA All-Star Griner detained in Russia, customs service cites hash possession -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : October 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona USA. Brittney griner, Phoenix Mercury center, shoots against Chicago Sky during game 2 of the 2021 WNBA Finals. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – The U.S. Basketball officials stated on Saturday that they are closely watching the situation around Brittney Griner, seven-time WNBA All-Star. This was after Russia claimed it had taken a U.S. athlete into custody last month in connection with possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.

Griner was a female center of the Phoenix Mercury’s Female League. The Russian Customs Service stated that a player, who had arrived in Moscow from New York, was taken into custody by the Russian Customs Service.

Russian news agency TASS cited a source to identify the player as Griner. Without further details, the Phoenix Mercury team stated that they were aware of and closely monitor Brittney Griner’s situation in Russia.

According to the customs, a scan of the baggage of the player revealed that it contained “liquid with Hashish Oil”. A criminal case was opened and could result in a sentence of between five and ten years imprisonment.

The date Griner was taken into custody in February, when Griner was playing in Russia in the WNBA’s winter offseason, is not known. Russian Customs Service stated that the player was still being detained and an investigation has begun.

The United States warned Saturday against traveling to Russia following Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine and the sweeping Western sanctions that were aimed at isolating Moscow. It also stated that its Embassy in Moscow had very limited capabilities to help citizens.

According to The Phoenix Mercury, Brittney is our support and love. At this point, her main concern should be her safety and physical and mental well-being, as well as her safe return home.

Griner won Olympic gold medals in 2021 and 2016 with U.S. national basketball teams. USA Basketball stated on Twitter that Griner “has always treated herself with professionalism throughout her long tenure with USA Basketball.”

According to the group, “Her safety and wellbeing is our main concern.”

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