Basketball star Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug possession charges, is growing increasing nervous about the prospects of being released, her lawyer said.
Griner was in Russia to compete during the WNBA offseason when Russian authorities said she had vape canisters with cannabis oil inside her luggage while traveling through an airport in Moscow in February.
The Biden administration reportedly talked about a potential prisoner swap to free her and another American held in a Russian jail, Paul Whelan. But Griner’s lawyer, Alexandr D. Boykov said he spoke with her Tuesday and said she is far from hopeful.
“She is not yet absolutely convinced that America will be able to take her home,” Boykov said in an interview with the New York Times. “She is very worried about what the price of that will be, and she is afraid that she will have to serve the whole sentence here in Russia.”
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Another growing concern for Griner is the condition of the prison she may end up in, Boykov noted. She said she is only outdoors once a day and is forced to spend the remainder of her time in a small cell with two other prisoners.
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In August, Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison. Her appeal, which the US has called “another sham judicial proceeding,” has been scheduled for Oct. 25.
Prior to the appeals court hearing, Boykov called