Phoenix Mercury basketball star Brittney Griner reportedly pleaded “not guilty” to the drug charges against her during an appearance in a Moscow court Thursday.
Griner, 31, will remain in custody in Russia until at least May 19 after the court extended her arrest, according to TMZ. A video released on Twitter showed Griner walking down a hallway followed by two female guards.
WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in Moscow court today, where she reportedly pleaded not guilty to drug charges.
The court has extended her detention for another two months, per @tass_agency.
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) March 17, 2022
This is the first time Griner has been seen since her arrest in February, TMZ noted. Griner’s extended time in Russian custody was granted so officials can further investigate the player for drug trafficking, Russian news agency TASS reported according to TMZ. (RELATED: Brittney Griner Gets Into Fight During WNBA Game)
The Women’s National Basketball Association and Olympic player was reportedly arrested after Russian customs officials at Sheremetyevo airport found hash or cannabis oil amongst her personal possessions. Russian authorities did not admit to arresting Griner until March 5, and her mug shot was reportedly released by Russia’s state-owned news channel Russia24 three days later.
“There are no words to express this pain,” Griner’s wife, Cherelle, said in early March, according to TMZ, “I’m hurting, we’re hurting. We await the day to love on you as a family.” Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has also called for Griner’s release, writing “Free Brittney” on social media, reported the outlet.