A Russian court has upheld the nine-year sentence of Brittney Griner. The 32-year-old basketball player will now be moved to a penal colony as her hopes of coming home early have become less of a reality.
Historically, Russian courts rarely overturn a verdict, but they did opt to adjust her time served. Acknowledging Griner’s pre-trial detainment, her overall sentence was slightly decreased to about eight years.
“We think we should use all legal tools available but that is her decision to take,” Maria Blagovolina, Griner’s lawyer, told reporters outside of the court. Blagovolina added that the two-time Olympic gold medalist was disappointed to hear the decision from the three-judge panel.
“She had some hope but that vanished today,” Blagovolina said.
Griner, who plays professionally in Russia during the WNBA offseason, was found guilty of smuggling vape cartridges with cannabis oil into Russia. In addition to her detainment, she was also ordered to pay 1 million rubles, approximately $16,301.
“This has been a very traumatic experience, waiting for this day … getting nine years for the crime.” Griner said. “People with more severe crimes have gotten less than what I was given.”