WNBA star Brittney Griner found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison by Russian court

A Russian court found WNBA star Brittney Griner guilty of drug charges on Thursday and sentenced her to nine years in prison and a fine of 1 million rubles $16,600.

Griner’s lawyers said the verdict is “absolutely unreasonable” and said they will “certainly file an appeal,” The New York Times reported.

“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” Griner said in court. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that that is far from this courtroom.”

President Joe Biden called for Griner’s immediate release in a statement shortly after the sentencing.

“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. “My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

The US has proposed a prisoner swap to free Griner, but Russia has not yet formally responded.



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