Brittney Griner: US basketball player sentenced to nine years in Russian jail over drug charges

Brittney Griner pictured in a cage in court

A Russian judge has convicted and sentenced American basketball player Brittney Griner to nine years in prison for drug possession and smuggling.

President Biden described the jail term as “unacceptable” and called for her immediate release.

Judge Anna Sotnikova said the time Griner has served in custody since her arrest in February would count towards the sentence.

Griner reacted to the term with little emotion and listened to the verdict with a blank stare on her face.

Mr Biden said in a statement: “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.”

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