Griner Attorney: WNBA Star Had Doctor’s Letter For Cannabis

KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — A lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is jailed in Russia on drug fees, presented a courtroom on Friday with a doctor’s letter recommending she use cannabis to deal with agony.Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and standout for the Phoenix Mercury, was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February following customs officers mentioned they located vape canisters containing hashish oil in her baggage.She faces up to 10 several years in prison if convicted on costs of transportation of medicine.Griner past week in court acknowledged possessing the canisters, but explained she had no prison intent and claimed the canisters’ existence was due to hasty packing. In Russia’s judicial program, admitting guilt doesn’t routinely conclude a demo.Given that the responsible plea, her court sessions have concentrated on in-individual and penned testimonies to her excellent character and athletic prowess.“The attending physician gave Brittney recommendations for the use of medical cannabis. The authorization was issued on behalf of the Arizona Section of Wellness,” attorney Maria Blagovolina said.

The defense on Friday also submitted checks she underwent as portion of an anti-doping look at, which didn’t detect any prohibited substances in her process.The next listening to of Griner’s situation was scheduled for July 26.“In the hearings yesterday and today what grew to become very obvious is the large amount of money of regard and admiration both in the United States and here in Russia in which Miss out on Griner has been taking part in basketball for 7 yrs, not only for her experienced achievements but for her character and integrity,” U.S. Embassy demand d’affaires Elizabeth Rood claimed exterior the courthouse in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, the place the airport is found.The director and staff captain of UMMC Ektaerinburg, for which Griner performs in the offseason, testified on her behalf on Thursday.U.S. President Joe Biden and Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken have mentioned they are accomplishing all they could to win her release, as nicely as that of other Us residents the U.S. considers “wrongly detained” by Russia, together with previous Maritime Paul Whelan who is serving 16 many years on an espionage conviction.Washington may perhaps have minor leverage with Moscow, while, since of powerful animosity over its armed service procedure in Ukraine.Russian media have speculated that Griner could be swapped for Russian arms trader Viktor Bout, nicknamed “the Service provider of Dying,” who is serving a 25-12 months sentence in the U.S. right after remaining convicted of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and giving help to a terrorist business.

Brittney Griner sits inside a defendants' cage with a picture depicting her WNBA fellow players wearing jerseys with her number, 42, during the leagues All-Star Game, during a hearing at the Khimki Court in the town of Khimki outside Moscow on July 15, 2022.

Russia has agitated for Bout’s release for many years. But the wide discrepancy in the seriousness of their scenarios could make this sort of a trade unpalatable to Washington. Many others have recommended that Griner could be traded alongside with Whelan, who is serving 16 several years in Russia on an espionage conviction that the U.S. has described as a set up.The Point out Department’s designation of Griner as wrongfully detained moves her circumstance under the supervision of its distinctive presidential envoy for hostage affairs, properly the government’s main hostage negotiator. The classification has irritated Russia.Asked about the risk of Griner being swapped for a Russian jailed in the U.S., Deputy Overseas Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the senior Russian diplomat, has noted that until her demo is about “there are no official or procedural good reasons to converse about any even further methods.”Ryabkov warned that U.S. criticism, including the description of Griner as wrongfully detained and dismissive feedback about the Russian judicial process, “makes it challenging to engage in comprehensive discussion of any achievable exchanges.”Griner’s detention has been licensed through Dec. 20, suggesting the demo could final months. Griner’s legal professionals, nevertheless, said they hope it to conclude all around the starting of August.