Home Brittney Griner’s appeal of February drug conviction denied in Russian court

Brittney Griner’s appeal of February drug conviction denied in Russian court

Rebecca Barnabi
Brittney Griner
(© Keeton Gale – Shutterstock)

Brittney Griner will serve a full nine-year term in a Russian penal colony. Her appeal for a February drug conviction was denied.

CNBC reported Tuesday that Griner has eight years left to serve of her nine-year term.

In late February, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, Griner, a center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury since 2013, was stopped in a Russian airport by security when vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage. NPR reported that Griner had an American doctor’s recommendation for the medication.

On August 4, Griner pled guilty to the drug charges and was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison.

Griner played for the UMMC Ekaterinburg in Yekaterinburg, the third largest city in Russia, during her off season.

Whether her lawyers will appeal the denial is unclear, according to CNBC.

“We think we should use all legal tools available but that is her decision to take,” Maria Blagovolina, Griner’s lawyer, told reporters outside of the court. Blagovolina said her client, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was disappointed to hear the decision from the three-judge panel.

“She had some hope but that vanished today,” Blagovolina said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.