Brittney Griner pictured for first time since Russian arrest

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Brittney Griner pictured for first time since Russian arrest

Detained WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner has been photographed for the first time since she was arrested at a Russian airport last month for having vape cartridges in her luggage.

The 31-year-old’s booking photo was aired on Russian state TV over the weekend, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Griner was pictured standing against a wall while holding a piece of paper with what appeared to be her name scrawled across it.

The photo, which wasn’t dated, was reportedly taken at a Moscow police station after the two-time Olympic champion was detained.

The Russian Customs Service said Saturday that the American basketball star had been taken into custody after it allegedly found cannabis oil cartridges in her luggage.

The customs service would not say when Griner was arrested, but Russian news sources said she has been in custody for three weeks.

Griner's booking photo was aired on Russian state TV over the weekend.
Griner’s booking photo was aired on Russian state TV over the weekend.

“We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA,” her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, said Saturday.

“As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.”

If convicted on drug smuggling charges, Griner could face between five and 10 years in a Russian prison.

Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury.
Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury.
BRIAN SNYDER
The Baylor Student section hold ups a “Free Brittney” sign on Mar. 5.
The Baylor student section holds up a “Free Brittney” sign on March 5.
Raymond Carlin III

Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, has played during the WNBA offseason for the Russian team Ekaterinburg in the Euroleague since 2015.

More than a dozen WNBA players were scheduled to play in Russia and Ukraine this winter.

The WNBA confirmed on Saturday that all players — besides Griner — had already left both countries in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

Griner was taken into custody after Russian customs agents allegedly found cannabis oil cartridges in her luggage.
Griner was taken into custody after Russian customs agents allegedly found cannabis oil cartridges in her luggage.
Russian Federal Customs Service

The State Department has since issued a “do not travel” advisory for Russia amid the invasion and urged all US citizens to depart immediately.

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