State Department Offers Update on Brittney Griner After Russia Grants Access to Detained WNBA Star

The U.S. State Department has offered an update on Brittney Griner, the WNBA player who has been detained in Russia since mid-February for allegedly carrying vape cartridges. USA Today reported that the U.S. Embassy in Russia was granted consular access to Griner on Wednesday. Griner is currently being detained in Russia as she awaits trial on charges that she allegedly brought vape cartridges containing hashish oil into the country. She faces a potential 10-year stint in Russian prison if she is found guilty.

On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price appeared on CNN and discussed the situation concerning Griner. He said that U.S. ambassador John Sullivan was asked to appear at Russia's Foreign Ministry on Monday. While there, Sullivan reportedly shared a "candid message" to Russian officials and said that the United States expects to be able to have consular access with Americans, such as Griner, who are currently being detained. They were subsequently granted consular access days later.

"Within the past couple hours, an official from our embassy has been granted consular access to Brittney Griner," Price said. "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. That is a message we will continue to convey in no uncertain terms to the Russian Federation." Price was then asked how Griner is doing while in detention, to which he said that the official found that the basketball player appeared "to be in good condition."

Griner was taken into custody in Russia sometime in February after arriving at an airport outside of Moscow. Her arrest was only made public three weeks into her detainment. Amidst the ordeal, Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, shared an update on social media. In her statement, she urged her followers to respect their privacy as they navigate the difficult situation.


"Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife's safe return from Russia," Cherelle wrote in an Instagram post. "Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life. I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details. Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely."