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Brittney Griner’s Russian detention hits 200-day mark

Sportsnaut
May 20, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; WNBA MVP candidate and All Stars player Brittney Griner during media day before she enters her eighth season with Phoenix Mercury. Mandatory Credit: Nick Oza/The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK
Credit: The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

Monday marked 200 days since WNBA star Brittney Griner was first detained in a Russian airport.

The Phoenix Mercury center was arrested Feb. 17 with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner, 31, was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony on Aug. 4 on drug smuggling and possession charges.

On Monday — Labor Day in the United States — the Women’s National Basketball Players Association issued a plea on social media for all U.S. union members to sign a Change.org petition in support of Griner.

United States President Joe Biden has said Griner is being “wrongfully detained.”

Diplomats for Russia and the U.S. have reportedly discussed a prisoner swap to bring Griner and fellow American Paul Whelan home in exchange for the release of convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, Griner is a seven-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year with career averages of 17.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 254 games.

–Field Level Media