U.S. Officials Meet With Brittney Griner, Say She is in Good Condition
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U.S. Officials Meet With Brittney Griner: “Doing as Well as Can Be Expected”

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WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner met with U.S. Officials Wednesday for the first time since being held in pretrial detention in Russia for more than a month.

ABC News reported that State Department spokesman Ned Price briefed reporters on Griner’s condition Wednesday.

“The consular officer who visited with Brittney Griner was able to verify that she is doing as well as can be expected under these very difficult circumstances,” Price said.

“We will continue to work very closely with her legal team, with her broader network, to see to it that she is treated fairly and that her rights are respected.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist was in Russia playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg. According to Russian officials, she was arrested at a Moscow airport for having vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage, an illegal substance in the country.

Griner faces up to 10 years in prison, according to media reports. Her visit with U.S. Embassy officials in Moscow came amid concerns over the basketball star’s well-being after her pre-trial detention was extended to May 19.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has complicated the issue as U.S. officials believe Griner and other detained Americans in Russia could be used as leverage in the conflict, which shows no signs of letting up.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced Wednesday that the State Department has determined Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine. The U.S. has also imposed a new round of sanctions against the country, but continues to oppose the deployment of troops to Ukraine, although some veterans have traveled to the country to fight alongside Ukraine.

Many, including Griner’s wife Cherelle Griner, the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Sheila Jackson (D-Texas) have called for her release.

Jackson told ABC’s Nightline last week that the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the U.S. sanctions shouldn’t affect Griner’s chances of being released.

Griner, 31, has won a WNBA title with the Phoenix Mercury and a Euroleague championship with UMMC Ekaterinburg.