Britney Greiner: The US State Department is now designating a WNBA player as ‘unjustly detained’ in Russia

SPEHA leads and coordinates the government’s diplomatic efforts aimed at the release of Americans unjustly detained abroad. They played a major role in securing the release of the US citizen and ex-Marine Trevor Reid From Russia last week.

“When it comes to our efforts to free Americans, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Ambassador Carstens, will go anywhere, talk to anyone if that means we can come home with an American, to reunite that American,” State Department spokesman Ned said. Price on Monday “with her or his family.”

Grenier, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a player on the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury team, was arrested in February at a Moscow airport and accused by Russian authorities of smuggling large quantities of a narcotic substance — a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. .

She plays with Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.

Griner watches during the USA vs Serbia match at last year's Tokyo Olympics.

On Tuesday, the WNBA said it will honor Griner during the 2022 season with her initials (BG) and jersey number (42) on the sidelines of all 12 stadiums.

“As the 2022 season begins, we are keeping Britney at the forefront of what we do through the game of basketball and in the community,” WBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert said in a statement.

“We continue to work on bringing Britney home and appreciate the support the community has given BG and her family during this very difficult time.”

Last season, Grenier finished second in the vote for the Most Valuable Player award. She led Mercury to the WNBA Finals, where Phoenix lost to Chicago Sky in four games.

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The WNBA season begins Friday and Phoenix begins their season at home against the Las Vegas Aces.

Russian authorities did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the State Department’s designation of “unlawfully detained” in the Griner case.

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