Detained WNBA player Brittney Griner faces drug charge in Russia

WNBA player Brittney Griner has been able to receive emails and letters from fellow players to an account Griner’s agent set up to allow them to communicate with her. 

Brittney+Griner+shoots+against+Chicago+Skys+Azura+Stevens+during+the+first+half+of+Game+4+of+the+WNBA+Finals%2C+on+Oct.+17%2C+2021%2C+in+Chicago.+

PAUL BEATY/Associated Press

Brittney Griner shoots against Chicago Sky’s Azura Stevens during the first half of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals, on Oct. 17, 2021, in Chicago.

DOUG FEINBERG, Associated Press

MOSCOW, Russia — WNBA player Brittney Griner has been able to receive emails and letters from fellow players to an account Griner’s agent set up to allow them to communicate with her. 

The emails are printed out and delivered sporadically in bunches to Griner by her lawyers after being vetted by Russian officials. Griner doesn’t have access to email, her lawyers said. She either writes a response on paper and her lawyers take a photo of it or she dictates a response. 

The two-time Olympic gold medalist has been detained in Russia for 105 days after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.

She now faces drug smuggling charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. 

Last month, the Biden administration said Griner is being wrongfully detained. In May, her detention was extended another month until at least the middle of June.

Williams said the player’s union has sent out texts every couple of weeks to remind WNBA players they can reach out to Griner through the email account. For now, the account isn’t open to the public in an effort to keep it manageable.

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