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Russia sentences American basketball player to 9 years in prison

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Brittney Griner está presa na Rússia porque foi encontrado óleo de cannabis na sua bagagem.

Brittney Griner is being held in Russia because cannabis oil was found in her luggage. | Photo: EFE/EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

The Russian court responsible for the trial of the basketball athlete Brittney Griner declared this Thursday (4) that the WNBA basketball player committed drug possession and contraband offenses.

Thus, the athlete will be subject to a nine-year prison sentence. Brittney will also have to pay a fine of 1 million rubles, around R$85, 8 thousand.

In response to the Russian decision, US President Joe Biden said the arrest ” is unacceptable”. I ask Russia to release her immediately so that she can be with her wife, her loved ones, her friends and her teammates,” he said in a statement.

Earlier, before the hearing, the athlete said that she recognized having made a mistake, but who “did not conspire or plan to commit the crime” for which she is accused.

Griner was detained in February this year at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport when customs officials found cannabis oil in the player’s luggage.

The defense of American, Olympic and world champion, had asked for the athlete’s acquittal or, otherwise, the lowest possible prison sentence.

Russian law provides for a maximum penalty of ten years in prison for the crime, so Griner had almost the maximum penalty provided. .

The United States even proposed, without success, to exchange the release of the player and another American for a Russian arms dealer arrested in American territory.

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