The Russian Customs Service detained and accused WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner of carrying hashish oil-filled vape cartridges in her luggage.
Griner was seized at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, according to the service. Because the event occurred in February, Griner has been in detention for at least a few days.
The player's identity was not revealed in a statement from the customs office, but it was revealed that she had won two Olympic gold medals with the United States. Griner was identified as the player by the news outlet TASS, which cited a law enforcement source.
According to the customs agency, a criminal case has been initiated into the large-scale transportation of drugs. In Russia, this can result in a sentence of up to ten years in prison.
Griner, age 31, is a seven-time WNBA All-Star center for the Phoenix Mercury. A statement from the team said, “We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the W.N.B.A. and N.B.A. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.”
In a statement, the WNBA expressed its support, while USA Basketball, the organization that organizes the Olympic teams, and the WNBA players union also expressed their support.
For several years, Griner has been a member of the Russian squad UMMC Ekaterinburg. During the league's off-season, many WNBA players compete overseas.
Except for Griner, all of the WNBA's players were no longer in Russia or Ukraine, according to the league.