Brittney Griner, a Phoenix Mercury player, pleaded guilty to drug possession, and smuggling during her Thursday trial in Moscow. The Associated Press reported.
According to the outlet, the basketball player stated that she didn’t intend to violate any laws when she tried to travel to the United States using vape canisters containing cannabis oil.
Griner spent five months in a Russian prison after her arrest at Moscow airport. She could face up to ten years imprisonment if convicted.
Former Olympian supporters have asked the Biden administration for assistance in negotiating her release with Russia. Griner wrote a letter asking for help from the White House and is “terrified [she] might [t]here forever,” according to the Associated Press.
Cherelle Griner, Griner’s spouse, spoke with President Joe Biden & Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday. This was just one day after she said that she hadn’t heard from them yet, NPR reported.
In a statement, the White House stated:
The President extended his support to Brittney and Cherelle’s families and promised to ensure that they receive all assistance as his administration pursues every avenue for Brittney’s return. Today’s call follows recent calls between Cherelle and National Security Advisor Sullivan as well as Secretary of State Blinken. His national security team was directed by the President to maintain regular contact with Cherelle’s and Brittney’s families, as well as other families of Americans wrongfully detained abroad, in order to keep them informed about progress on securing the release of their loved ones as soon as possible.