WNBA star and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Brittney Griner has officially been sentenced to 9-years in prison. The ruling is due to the star carrying hashish oil illegally, reportedly for medicinal purposes, in her luggage at a Moscow airport back in February.
Griner will be sent to a Russian penal colony and will be fined 1 million rubles, which is the equivalent of $16,500.
The 9-year sentence is mere months shorter than the 9 1/2 year sentence the Russian prosecutors advocated for.
In response to the news, the defense attorneys explained their sentiments, stating:
“We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality. The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea.”
Griner apologized for the offense, saying she meant no harm in the matter, nor the intent to break the law.
The Pheonix Mercury franchise, and her WNBA team, have long prepared for the verdict, as Russian courts have a 99% conviction rate on trial. Teammate and WNBA legend Diana Taurasi stated her sentiments last weekend, as the trial was rumored to reach a ruling, explaining while the situation hits heavy, her mind is telling her the conviction is “just the next step.”
In light of the ruling, stars have spoken out against the ruling.
Griner is also WNBA Champion and 8-Time All-Star in her 8 seasons in the league.