WNBA's Griner convicted at drug trial, sentenced to nine years
August 5, 2022
KHIMKI, Russia - U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted Thursday in Russia of drug possession and smuggling and was sentenced to nine years behind bars in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow.
The 31-year-old Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and a eight-time all-star with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, listened with a blank expression as an interpreter translated the verdict by Judge Anna Sotnikova, but her lawyers said later she was "very upset." Griner also was fined 1 million rubles (about $16,700).
U.S. President Joe Biden denounced as "unacceptable" the verdict and sentence, which came amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine.