Skip to main content

Brittney Griner's Defense Team Reacts To Russia's Ruling

Brittney Griner looks on during the Phoenix Mercury game.

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 8: Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury looks on during the game against the Las Vegas Aces during Game Five of the 2021 WNBA Semifinals on October 8, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images)

Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in Russian prison on drug smuggling charges.

The 31-year-old WNBA star was arrested at a Moscow airport back in February when Russian officials found vape cartridges containing less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner's legal team called this sentence "absolutely unreasonable" and said they "will certainly file an appeal," per the New York Times.

Griner, who pleaded guilty on drug smuggling charges last month, could've faced 10 years in Russian prison. Prosecutors reportedly asked for 9.5 years in closing arguments.

Even without an appeal, Griner isn't expected to serve her nine-year sentence. The U.S. and Russian governments have are begun discussing a possible prisoner swap to return Griner and fellow American prisoner Paul Whelan back to the states.

Griner needed to receive a prison sentence before any potential trade dealings could commence.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing situation.