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WNBA, Olympics Star Brittney Griner Detained in Russia

International tensions sweep up a professional basketball player.

Olympics: Basketball-Women Finals - Gold Medal Match James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia while trying to pass customs at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. Reports say the Russian Federal Customs Service detained the multi-time-time Olympian “after finding vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her luggage”. The incident comes during the rising tension of war between Russia and the Ukraine.

Griner’s agent made the following statement to ESPN earlier today:

“We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA,” Lindsay Kagawa Colas, Griner’s agent with Wasserman Group, told ESPN via statement Saturday. “As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.”

Per Russian authorities, Griner is being investigated for “large-scale transportation of drugs,” which carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

The 31-year-old plays for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA. The Mercury tweeted out this statement:

We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA, and the NBA. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.

We will update this story as news becomes available.