Women’s National Basketball Association player Brittney Griner’s mug shot was allegedly released by Russian state-run media Tuesday.
Russia’s state-owned news channel Russia 24 allegedly aired a mug shot of Griner, telling viewers that a drug trafficking investigation has been launched against the 31-year-old WNBA player, according to TMZ. Griner had not been seen or heard from in weeks, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Brittney Griner Gets Into Fight During WNBA Game)
Russian Federal Customs Service claimed that Griner was in their custody on March 5, after authorities discovered cannabis oil in personal possessions at Sheremeyevo airport. Russian authorities refused to name Griner, instead claiming they were holding an Olympian with two U.S. gold medals, the New York Times reported.
Russian state TV has released a photo of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was arrested on drug charges in the country after Russian officials say cannabis oil was found in her luggage. CNN’s @RosaFlores has the story. pic.twitter.com/SzB9MSSQfY
— CNN (@CNN) March 8, 2022
“We are, for the first time, seeing the booking photo of Brittney Griner,” CNN reporter Rosa Flores told viewers. “The actual photo is not dated, so we don’t know a lot of details.” Flores went on to show Russian official Irina Begisheva describing that Griner — an “American citizen” — has had a criminal case opened against her for “smuggling a significant amount of drugs.”
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and other U.S. officials are doing everything in their power to ensure Griner’s safe return to the United States, saying previously that things could get messy, but that the State Department is already working to secure Griner’s release, TMZ reported.