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Brittney Griner’s detention extended until May, Russian news agency says

American basketball star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia has been extended until May, the Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing the Khimki Court of the Moscow Region.

“The court granted the petition of the investigation and extended the term of detention of U.S. citizen [Griner] until May 19,” TASS said it was told by the press service of the court Thursday.

March 15, 202203:11

Griner has been detained for weeks after Russian officials said they found vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.

The offense could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of Public Monitoring Commission, told TASS that Griner is sharing a cell with two inmates who “had no previous convictions and are charged with drug-related articles.”

They have helped her order books, Kalugina told KASS — Dostoevsky and a biography of Rolling Stones members.

She added that Griner has had no complaints, but is, at 6-foot-9, too tall for the standard jail bed.

Calder Hynes, who is assisting Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, in answering questions about Griner’s arrest, did not immediately respond to questions about her extended detention Thursday.

Griner is a center for WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and has played in Russia for the last seven years in the winter. She last played for her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29 before the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.

Griner, 31, has won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S., a WNBA championship with the Mercury, and a national championship at Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star.

Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, has since posted twice on Instagram about her detention.

“My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats everyday that goes by. I miss your voice. I miss your presence. You’re our person! There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting,” she wrote in her most recent post.

The detainment came amid escalating conflict created by Russia attacking Ukraine. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department issued a “do not travel” advisory for Russia and urged all U.S. citizens to leave immediately.