Brittney Griner guilty of deliberate drug smuggling: How it panned out for two-time Olympic gold medallist

Updated: Aug 05, 2022, 12:01 PM(IST)

On Thursday, U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was found guilty of deliberately bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia despite them being illegal, after the athlete said she had made an honest mistake by packing them. (All Inputs from Agencies)

All hell break loose for US basketball star

A Russian court on Thursday found U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner guilty of deliberately bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia despite them being illegal, after the athlete said she had made an honest mistake by packing them.

(Photograph:AFP)

Verdict to pave the way for a prisoner swap between Russia and the United States?

Her sentencing, which is due to take place within hours, could led to a prisoner swap between Russia and the United States that would include the 31-year-old star athlete and an imprisoned Russian who was once a prolific arms dealer. Griner's defence team, however, has made it clear that it will appeal 'unreasonable' verdict.

(Photograph:AFP)

Brittney Griner gives her take

Griner was detained at Moscow`s Sheremetyevo airport on Feb. 17 with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. She pleaded guilty but said she had neither intended to bring a banned substance to Russia nor to hurt anybody. "I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling, that it doesn`t end my life here," Griner said in court before breaking down in tears. "My parents taught me two important things: one, take ownership of your responsibilities and two, work hard for everything that you have. That`s why I pled guilty to my charges." 

However, the end result hasn't gone in her favour.

(Photograph:AFP)

US President Joe Biden on the hearing

"Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It's unacceptable and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates," Biden said in a statement.

(Photograph:AFP)

Brittney Griner achievements

For the unversed, Griner remains the only NCAA basketball player to both score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. The three-time All-American was named the AP Player of the Year and also adjudged the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in the year 2012.

In addition, the 31-year-old basketballer is one of 11 women to get an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA championship, a FIBA World Cup gold medal and as well as a WNBA championship. Overall, she has won two gold Olympic gold medals.

(Photograph:Getty)

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