Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who has been detained in Russia since February 17, was found guilty on drug charges in a Moscow-area court Thursday (August 4) and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Griner was detained by Russian officials earlier this year at Sheremetyevo International Airport as she returned to Russia to play during the WNBA’s offseason. Authorities accused the 31-year-old of having vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in the country.
Just before today’s verdict was announced, Griner made a statement in which she apologized to her loved ones for the hurt that her arrest has caused and added that her parents instilled hard work in her and this value is what brought her to Russia.
Last month, Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges, a move that, according to ABC News, was recommended by her Russian attorneys. During her plea, she said the vape cartridges were in her luggage mistakenly and that she had no “intention” of breaking Russian law.
Despite today’s court ruling, the option to appeal is still on the table.