Brittney Griner has been ordered to remain in Russian custody for at least another six months. The WNBA star learned about the latest development in her case at Monday’s closed-door preliminary hearing, the Associated Press reports. Griner, who was detained at a Russian airport in February after customs officials allegedly found a vape cartridge containing hash oil in her luggage, also learned that she will have to stand trial on Friday.
Photographers captured the 31-year-old as she headed to the hearing on Monday, looking straight ahead and shackled with handcuffs while being escorted by officers. If convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs, the Phoenix Mercury center could face 10 years in prison.
While Griner remains in detention, her supporters have been advocating for her release. Griner’s friends in the WNBA and NBA have been leading the effort to free the basketball star. Earlier this month, Boston Celtics players wore “We Are BG” shirts to show their support, as Blavity previously reported.
“It’s extremely tough seeing what she’s going through,” Celtics star Jayson Tatum told ESPN. “I know everybody sees and feels that, and obviously we’re all together in support of trying to bring her back to her family and things like that. Yeah, wearing those shirts today in support of her.”
According to Forbes, the Biden administration may be negotiating with Russia, offering to swap Russian convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner. The negotiation was reported to be still premature in May.