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Brittney Griner's Detention Extended Until May, Russian Media Reports

Brittney Griner

Lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia has been extended until May, the country's state news agency TASS has reported.

The agency cited the Khimki Court of the Moscow Region in reporting about the extension, according to NBC News.

“The court granted the petition of the investigation and extended the term of detention of U.S. citizen [Griner] until May 19,” TASS said it was told by the court’s press office on Thursday.

The 31-year-old has been detained on drug charges in Russia — which has been heavily sanctioned by the U.S. and other countries over its invasion of Ukraine — after customs agents at the Sheremetyevo International Airport found vape cartridges containing liquid with hashish oil in February.

Griner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

A member of the Public Monitoring Commission, Ekaterina Kalugina, said that Griner currently shares a cell with two other inmates who "had no previous convictions and are charged with drug-related articles," according to TASS.

Kalugina said that Griner hadn’t complained about the conditions of the jail, but that at 6-foot-9, she is too tall for the standard bed.

Since 2015, Griner has played for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA’s off-season.

Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted “Free Brittney” on Twitter Wednesday along with a news article about Griner’s detention, becoming the latest U.S. politician to call for her release.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist’s detainment has come during an escalation of attacks on Ukraine by Russia. The U.S. State Department warned U.S. citizens not to travel to Russia and for those in the country to leave immediately.

Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, has called for Brittney’s release as well as privacy as negotiations around her release continue.

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