Russia extends WNBA star Britney Greener’s detention

Phoenix, Arizona - October 10: Phoenix Mercury's Britney Greener # 42 during a pregame warmup at the Footprint Center on October 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Note to the User: The User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading or using this photograph, the User agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mike Matina / Getty Images / AFP (Photo by Mike Matina / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP)

File – WNBA star Britney Greener. Mike Matina / Getty Images / AFP

A Russian court on Tuesday extended the pre-trial detention of US basketball star Britney Greener until early July on drug charges.

Greener, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was detained at Moscow airport in February for carrying his luggage vap cartridges with marijuana oil, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

On the day of Greener’s detention, Russia defied US warnings and, just days before sending troops to Ukraine, persuaded Western powers to impose sanctions and send military aid to Kiev.

A court in the city of Khimki outside Moscow has extended Greener’s arrest until July 2, a court spokesman told Russian reporters on Tuesday.

Washington has said Russia “mistakenly” arrested the six-foot-nine (2.06-meter) basketball star, 31, and handed over its case to the US special envoy in charge of the hostages.

State Department spokeswoman Ned Price told reporters in Washington that “our position on this issue has been very clear for some time – Britney Greener should not be detained for another day.”

He said U.S. officials met with representatives of his team on Monday, seeking regular access to Phoenix Mercury, and Greener.

The WNBA also said it was working to bring Greener home.

She is considered one of the greatest female basketball players and is a high scorer.

He was playing club basketball in Russia before the resumption of the US season, a common practice for the extra income of American stars.

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