Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was detained by Russian authorities after trying to exit the country due to the presence of hashish oil in her luggage reports the New York Times.
“The Russian Federal Customs Service said Saturday that its officials had detained an American basketball player after finding vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.”
Griner, who has played in Russia during the WNBA offseason since 2015, is among American players trying to exit the country amdist the conflict caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Phoenix Mercury, USA Basketball and the WNBA’s player’s union (WNBPA) all issued statements on the Griner’s detainment:
“We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.”
“USA Basketball is aware of and closely monitoring the legal situation facing Brittney Griner in Russia. Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns.”
“We are aware of the situation in Russia concerning one of our members, Brittney Griner. Our utmost concern is BG’s safety and well-being. On behalf of The 144, we send out love and support. We well continue to closely monitor and look forward to her return to the U.S.”