Credit: REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool-SCANPIX
Credit REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool-SCANPIX

Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years by a Russian court. However, the real length of detention might be however long it takes to reach a deal between the United States and Russia.

Brittney Griner

Brittney  Griner
Position: C
Age: 31
Height: 206 cm
Weight: 93 kg
Birth place: Houston, United States of America

Griner was also fined 1 million rubles, equivalent of roughly $16,500.

The prosecutor in Griner's case has requested nine and a half years in prison for the WNBA star earlier on Thursday, according to what her lawyer Maria Blagovolina told the media.

Griner has been held in Moscow since February on charges of smuggling a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage when she was trying to enter Russia.

Griner arrived at the court in Khimki, in the Moscow region, for her eighth hearing on Thursday.

The player faced a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. The prosecutor has only lowered the final verdict by a year.

The 31-year-old, 2.06-meter center held up from inside her cell a photo of her teammates from the UMMC Yekaterinburg, the Russian basketball team she played for during the WNBA offseason. Numerous foreign players who have played for Russian teams, among many others Marta Xargay and Anna Cruz, have campaigned in support of the American.

The 31-year-old Griner apologized in her final remarks in court.

"I made an honest mistake, and I hope your ruling does not end my life," WNBA star explained herself.

"I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them," said Griner.

"I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home," Griner concluded.

The two-time US basketball Olympic gold medalist pleaded guilty to drug charges last month in what her lawyers say was an attempt to take responsibility and receive clemency if she is ultimately found guilty and convicted.

The Griner case has already become a diplomatic problem. Joe Biden, president of the United States, has received a lot of pressure to try to return the player to the United States. There was even a proposition for an exchange of prisoners between the center and a former marine Paul Whelan for a Russian arms dealer who is detained in the United States.

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