Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison after a Russian judge found her guilty of smuggling and storing illegal drugs.
Griner, a WNBA star for the Phoenix Mercury, traveled to Russia in February to play basketball in order to earn a higher salary. She earned $227,000 playing in the WNBA and over $1 million playing in Russia.
On Feb. 17, Griner, 31, was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Khimki after Russian authorities found vape cartridges containing hashish oil.
Last week, Griner testified that she did not intentionally bring the oil with her and only had it for medical reasons.
President Joe Biden responded to the verdict by issuing the following statement: “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew. Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney, “It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible,” Biden said.