Why is Brittney Griner in a Russian jail?

Why in Jail?

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison in a sentence US President Joe Biden has deemed "unacceptable" after police said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage at the airport in February.

Who is Brittney Griner?

Ms Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women's National Basketball Association and is regarded as one of the league's best players of all time.She won Olympic gold medals for the US in 2016 and 2020.

Griner had travelled to Russia to play in the Russian Premier League during the WNBA's off-season when she was accused of having the vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

Her detention was first announced by Russia on March 6 and her trial began on July 1, when she pleaded guilty to the charges.

“I would like to plead guilty on the charges against me. But I had no intention of breaking any Russian law," Ms Griner said when she took the stand last month.

She has since been convicted in Russia of drug possession and smuggling, and was sentenced to nine years behind bars.

"[The court has stated] by cumulation of crimes to impose imprisonment for nine years and a fine at a rate of 1 million roubles [$23,000]," the judge ruled.

"The punishment is to be served in general regime penal colony. The fine has to be paid directly to the banking details named in the verdict."

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