Highlights

  • Griner is a 2-time U.S. Olympic champion and an 8-time all-star with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury
  • An emotional Griner made a final appeal and said that she had no intention to break the law

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Griner carried vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow in February to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg

A judge in Russia on Thursday convicted and sentenced American basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison for drug possession and smuggling.

Judge Anna Sotnikova said that all the evidence and materials presented during the trial led the court to conclude that Griner's guilt "is proven." Apart from the jail term, the 31-year-old was also fined around $16,400.

Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and an eight-time all-star with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, listened with a blank expression as an interpreter translated the verdict.

Earlier in the session, an emotional Griner made a final appeal and said that she had no intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow in February to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg

The ruling concluded a case that reached the highest levels of U.S.-Russian diplomacy and raised concerns that Griner was being used as a political pawn in Russia's war against Ukraine.

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