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Both the WNBA and the NBA called for Britney Grenier to be released after the two-time Olympic gold medalist was convicted of drug charges and He was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday.
NBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed in a joint statement shortly after the announcement of the referee’s announcement that Grener was “in wrongly detained,” Echoing the sentiments of the White House Thursday,
“Today’s verdict and sentence are unjustified and regrettable, but unexpected and Britney Grenier remains unjustly detained,” the statement read. “WNBA and NBA The commitment to her safe return has not wavered and we hope to be close to finalizing this process to finally bring BG back to the United States.”
President Biden had previously issued a statement calling the trial and subsequent ruling “unacceptable.”
“Today, US citizen Britney Greiner received a prison sentence and this is another reminder of what the world already knows: Russia is unjustly holding Britney,” Biden said in a statement.
“It is unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so that she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates. My management will continue to work tirelessly and seek every avenue possible to bring Britney and Paul Whelan home safely. ASAP.”
Prosecutors in Grenier’s case demanded a 9.5-year prison sentence, but the court sentenced her to nine years in prison, considering Grenier’s guilty plea last month. She was also fined 1 million rubles, approximately $16,200.
Six-time WNBA All-Star and current coach of South Carolina Gamecox Dawn Staley has taken to social media to respond to news of Griner’s ruling.
Rebecca Kovler, a former US intelligence officer who was born in Russia and Expert on Russia and Vladimir Putintold Fox News Digital on Thursday that the way forward in negotiating a deal to secure Griner’s launch wouldn’t be an easy path to navigate.
“Ms. Greiner is a victim of the crisis in US-Russian relations, the worst in history, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So she will have a very long way to go, especially in light of the fact. That the US side considers Ms. Greiner’s arrest illegal, despite the fact that Britney admitted to violating the law Russian,” Koffler explained.
“The Biden administration describes Greiner as ‘unjustly detained,’ so it is a clash between the two legal systems. Putin will do everything in his power to compel Washington to recognize the legitimacy of this case. And truthfully, Putin has all the power to release Greiner, even if she is convicted, but he will not He does so that he gets maximum concessions from the Biden administration.”
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed last week that The Biden administration made a ‘substantial proposal’ For the return of basketball player and American citizen Paul Whelan.
White House press secretary Karen-Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that Russia had responded “in bad faith” to the US government’s offer. She did not go into details.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydus contributed to this report.