Britney Griner’s wife, Cherell Griner, met with President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House on Friday to reassure her that the administration is continuing to work on the release of the detained WNBA star from a Russian prison.
“We will continue to do our best, working tirelessly every day to make sure we get them home,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. ESPN.
Griner has been in Russian custody for 211 days. She was detained at a Moscow airport on February 17 for carrying cannabis oil e-cigarette cartridges in her luggage.
On July 7, Griner pleaded guilty to drug possession and stated in court that she had cannabis oil in her luggage for medical use, while her attorney told the court that Griner had a doctor’s note for its use. Griner said that “she had no intention of committing a crime and she acted unintentionally because she packed her things for Moscow in a hurry.” Jim Heinz Associated Press. However, any use of cannabis – both for medical and recreational purposes – is prohibited by law in Russia.
31 year old man was sentenced up to nine years in a Russian prison on 4 August.
The United States and Russia have been working on a possible prison swap to bring Griner and detained former US Marine Paul Whelan home. The Biden administration reportedly offered to trade convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner and Whelan. Gerald Posner from Forbes.
Jean-Pierre admitted on Friday that “a significant offer is on the negotiating table” and that Russia should agree to a deal. However, she did not mention what was included in the proposal.
In May, the Biden administration classified Griner as “wrongfully detained” and often said it was doing everything possible to bring Griner home.
The Phoenix Mercury selected Griner first overall in the 2013 WNBA draft from Baylor. She spent her entire nine-year career with the franchise, earning seven All-Star selections. The WNBA also named her an honorary All-Star for that year.
Griner also won Defensive Player of the Year twice, is third all-time in blocked shots and field goal percentage, and helped lead the Mercury to the 2014 WNBA title.
She is also a two-time Olympic champion and has won three Russian championships with UMMC Yekaterinburg.