Skip to main content

U.S. Government Reportedly Given Warning About Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner walks into court in Russia.

US' Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, arrives to a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on August 4, 2022. - Lawyers for US basketball star Brittney Griner, who is standing trial in Russia on drug charges, said on July 26, 2022 they hoped she would receive a "lenient" sentence. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

A Russian court rejected Brittney Griner's appeal against her nine-year prison sentence on Tuesday. As of now, she must remain in Russian detention for the foreseeable future. 

Griner's legal team expected the three-judge panel in Moscow to reject her appeal. That being said, there's still a way the WNBA star can return to the United States. 

In theory, the United States can negotiate a prisoner swap with Russia. Talks could potentially ramp up after the midterm elections. 

If the United States is going to discuss a prisoner swap with Russia, these talks must be kept "strictly confidential." 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had this to say about a potential prisoner swap involving Griner: "We always say that any contacts about possible exchanges can only be conducted in silence under a tight lid on any information." 

Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor to President Joe Biden, said in a statement that Griner is being "wrongfully detained under intolerable circumstances." 

If the Biden-Harris Administration is willing to negotiate with Russia, there's a chance Griner could return to America sooner than later. 

In the meantime, it's being reported that Griner will be transferred from a Moscow jail to a penal colony.