Brittney Griner’s legal team has filed an appeal against a Russian court’s verdict sentencing the WNBA basketball player to nine years in prison for smuggling drugs into Russia, Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina told CNN on Monday.
On August 4, Judge Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court delivered the sentence and fined Griner 1 million rubles (about $16,400).
The judge said the court took into account Griner’s partial admission of guilt, remorse for the deed, state of health and charitable activities.
Griner was detained in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
The two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist pleaded guilty to drug charges last month and said she accidentally packed the drugs while in a hurry.
The US State Department maintains Griner is wrongfully detained, and US officials have offered a potential prisoner swap with Russia in an attempt to bring her home safely.