WNBA’s Griner apologizes as Russian court prepares verdict

by | Aug 4, 2022 | Sports

KHIMKI, Russia — An emotional Brittney Griner apologized in a Russian court Thursday as her drug possession trial drew to a close Thursday, and a prosecutor urged that the American basketball star be convicted and sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison in a case that reached the highest levels of U.S.-Russia diplomacy.With a judge set to issue an unusually swift verdict later in the day and a conviction all but certain, Griner made a final appeal to the court. She said she had no intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow in February to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.“I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them,” Griner said, her voice cracking. “I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home.”Under Russian law, the 31-year-old Griner faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. but judges have considerable latitude on sentencing.If she does not go free, attention will turn to the high-stakes possibility of a prisoner swap, which was proposed last week by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to his Russian counterpart.She said she made “an honest mistake,” adding: “hope in your ruling it does not end my life …

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