Olympic champion Brittney Griner is sent to a Russian penal colony

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Brittney GrinerOlympic basketball champion is ‘on his way to a Russian penal colony’

Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for being caught with illegal substances in her luggage. Now the American has been relocated.

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American basketball Olympic champion Brittney Griner was transferred to a Russian penal colony.

AFP

She was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for carrying a small amount of hemp oil.

She was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for carrying a small amount of hemp oil.

AFP

Here, Griner is seen in a jail cell just before her hearing in late October 2022.

Here, Griner is seen in a jail cell just before her hearing in late October 2022.

Reuters

Sentenced to nine years in prison for drug smuggling in Russia American basketball player Brittney Griner According to her lawyers, she will be transferred to a penal camp. Griner was released from prison on Nov. 4 and “en route to a penal colony,” her attorneys said Wednesday. However, they currently have no information about their current whereabouts or “final destination”.

Griner was sentenced in August to nine years in prison for drug trafficking. The 32-year-old WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist failed to appeal in late October. Russian authorities typically send notices of prisoner transfers by mail, which can take up to two weeks, according to their lawyers.

Hemp oil was found

The American basketball player, who also plays in Yekaterinburg, Russia, was arrested in February on her arrival at a Moscow airport after e-cigarette cartridges containing a small amount of cannabis oil were found in her luggage. Griner says he took cannabis to relieve pain from sports injuries. However, medical use of the drug is also illegal in Russia.

Griner’s case caused outrage in the United States. The US government is trying to do just that the release of Griner. The fight for the imprisoned athlete comes against the backdrop of massive tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The Russian government was open to talks about a prisoner exchange in August, but there are no signs of progress on the matter.

Exchange of prisoners possible

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated on Wednesday that the US had made a “substantial offer” to Russia to resolve the Griner case. “Every minute Brittney Griner has to spend in illegal detention in Russia is a minute too long,” said Jean-Pierre.

According to reports, Griner and former US soldier Paul Whelan could be exchanged for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the US.

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(dpa/dma)

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