Russian Government Extends WNBA Star Brittney Griner's Arrest

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A court in Moscow has extended WNBA star Brittney Griner's arrest until May 19, 2022, the Russian state media agency TASS reported, according to CNN.

"The court granted the request of the investigation and extended the period of detention of the US citizen Griner until May 19," the court said in a statement, per a report by TASS.

Griner has been detained by Russian authorities since February after Russian Custom officials claimed the two-time Olympic gold medalist had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner, like many other WNBA players, was playing overseas at the time, as she's done for the last seven years.

According to TASS, a representative from Moscow's Public Monitoring Commission –– which observes the treatment of prisoners –– visited Griner at the pre-trial detention center where she's being held. The rep is quoted as saying the US consul has not visited the 31-year-old Houston native, though Russian authorities claim they are willing to "create all conditions" for such a visit.

Rep. Collin Allred told ESPN earlier this month that Griner hadn't been given consular access –– which he said was a "really unusual" circumstance.

Griner's detainment comes amid Russia's war on Ukraine in which the US has imposed severe sanctions and diplomatic relations are broken down.

Lawmakers including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the Congressional Black Caucus, and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have chimed in on Griner's detainment and are working to get her released.

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