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WNBA Star Brittney Griner sent to Russian penal colony

Brittney Griner
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a court room after her last words, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Closing arguments in Brittney Griner’s cannabis possession case are set for Thursday, nearly six months after the American basketball star was arrested at a Moscow airport in a case that reached the highest levels of US-Russia diplomacy. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(RUSSIA) — Life for American basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia has just gone from bad to worse. 32-year-old Griner has been sent to a penal colony in Russia to serve her 9-year sentence for drug possession, her legal team said Wednesday.
A Russian court rejected an appeal of her sentence last month. The eight-time all-star center with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist was convicted Aug. 4 after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Griner’s legal team say she left the detention center on Nov. 4 for a penal colony, but they don’t know exactly where she will end up. They expect to be notified when Griner reaches her final destination, which could take days. Penal camps are a common type of Russian prison where detainees work for minimal pay.
Griner has repeatedly apologized and said she didn’t realize the drug was in her luggage. The athlete’s detention has raised concerns that Russia is using her as a political pawn in its war against Ukraine.