A U.S. official granted access to detained WNBA’s Brittney Griner found her to be in “good condition,” the State Department said Wednesday.
The Phoenix Mercury star was arrested at the airport in Moscow on Feb. 17 for allegedly having cannabis oil in her suitcase.
The State Department confirmed Wednesday that a U.S. embassy official in Moscow was granted access to the seven-time WNBA All-Star.
“We were able to check on her condition, we will continue to work very closely with her legal team, with her broader network, to see to it that she is treated fairly,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price told CNN.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price provides an update on US basketball star Brittney Griner who remains detained in Russia on allegations of drug smuggling.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price provides an update on US basketball star Brittney Griner who remains detained in Russia on allegations of drug smuggling. pic.twitter.com/PquLiJKqWr
— CNN (@CNN) March 23, 2022
“Our official found Brittney Griner to be in good condition and we will continue to do everything we can to see to that she is treated fairly throughout this ordeal,” Price added.
The U.S. recently increased pressure for consular access to Griner, who has won two Olympic gold medals. Over the past seven years, she has traveled to Russia on dozens of occasions where she plays professionally during the WNBA off-season.
“We are closely engaged on this case and in frequent contact with Brittney Griner’s legal team,” the State Department said in a statement Friday. “We insist the Russian government provide consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees in Russia, including those in pre-trial detention, as Brittney Griner is.”
Russian news agency Tass recently reported that a Moscow court extended her arrest until May 19.
A growing contingent of family, friends and officials including Hillary Clinton are calling for Griner’s safe return.
“She’s an amazing person, role model, champion and she doesn’t deserve what’s happening right now,” Griner’s friend and basketball legend Nancy Lieberman said, reported WBNS.