Brittney Griner: American Olympic gold medalist and WNBA all-star arrested on drug charges in Russia

Brittney Griner, a two-time American Olympic gold medalist and seven-time Women’s National Basketball Association All-Star with the Phoenix Mercury basketball team, has been arrested in Russia after customs officials detected cannabis oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow, The New York Times reported.

The Russian news agency TASS cited a law enforcement source identifying the American woman who was arrested on drug charges as 31-year-old Griner, upon arriving from New York, the report said.

Russia’s Interfax News Agency quoted a statement from Russia’s Interfax News Agency: “‘As a US citizen was passing through the green channel at Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo Customs canine department detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage.'”

“‘The customs inspection of the hand luggage being carried by the US citizen confirmed the presence of vapes with specifically smelling liquid, and an expert determined that the liquid was cannabis oil (hash oil), which is a narcotic substance,'” the customs service said in the statement.

Interfax, citing the customs service, said the US citizen was detained and arrested and noted a criminal case has been opened against her.

Griner currently plays for the Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg. Griner has played with the team since 2015 during the WNBA offseason. In five games this season, she is averaging 13.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

The star player, who won the WNBA championship with the Mercury in 2014, averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season with Phoenix. Griner is also a two-time medalist at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Championship with Team USA.