Russia Griner

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner, right, enters a cage in a courtroom prior to a hearing 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.

KHIMKI, Russia — U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted Thursday in Russia of drug possession and sentenced to nine years in prison following a politically charged trial that came amid soaring tensions between Moscow and Washington over Ukraine and could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between the two world powers.

The 31-year-old Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and a eight-time all-star with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury listened with a blank expression as an interpreter translated the verdict by Judge Anna Sotnikova. The judge also fined her 1 million rubles (about $16,700) fine.

Sign up to Johnson City Press Today!

Top stories, delivered straight to your inbox.

Try the Johnson City Press app today. Download here from Google Play and the App Store.

Recommended Videos

Trending Recipe Video

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.