Brittney Griner predicted sentencing hearing would be her ‘doomsday’, lawyer says

Griner’s sentencing dubbed by her agent as ‘severe by Russian legal standards’

Former teammate, coach react to Griner's sentence

US basketball star Brittney Griner appeared to know she was going to face a tough sentencing as she had told her lawyer before that she knew it would be “doomsday” for her.

Ms Griner also said “I love my family” on Thursday as she was led out of a Russian courtroom in handcuffs after being sentenced to jail for nine years on drugs charges, Reuters reported.

“When we saw Brittney on Tuesday, we told her ‘see you on Thursday’. She said, ‘see you on doomsday. So it looks like she was right,” Ms Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina said, according to Reuters.

The basketball star was convicted on charges of drugs possession and smuggling after she entered Russia with cannabis-infused vape cartridges.

Her sentencing was dubbed by her agent as “severe by Russian legal standards”.

“Today’s sentencing of Brittney Griner was severe by Russian legal standards and goes to prove what we have known all along, that Brittney is being used as a political pawn,” Lindsay Kagawa Colas, the basketball star’s agent, tweeted on Thursday.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken said officials would continue to work to bring Ms Griner and “fellow wrongfully detained US citizen” Paul Whelan back to US soil.

“Nothing about today’s decision changes our determination that Brittney Griner is wrongfully detained,” he added.

President Joe Biden called the sentence “unacceptable” and called on Russia to release the basketball star immediately so that she can be with her “wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.”

“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,” Mr Biden said.

Ms Griner’s lawyer said she was “very upset” and “very stressed” by the sentence.

During her closing remarks, the Houston native reportedly said it had been “an honest mistake”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in