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Russian State TV Release Mugshot Of Arrested WNBA Star After Her Arrest

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Russian State TV Release Mugshot Of Arrested WNBA Star After Her Arrest

WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner has had her mugshot released following her recent arrest in Russia.

The 31-year-old was detained last month after Russian police allegedly found cannabis oil cartridges in her luggage at an airport, commonly used for vaping.

If found guilty of drug smuggling, the Phoenix Mercury star could face up to 10 years behind bars under Russian law.

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Now, around 7 weeks after she was initially pinched by cops, Griner's booking photograph has been released by Russian state television.

In the image, the two-time Olympic champion can be seen looking rather miserable while holding up a piece of paper with what appears to be her name scribbled across it.

According to CNN, the picture was taken at a local Moscow police station following her arrest.

With Griner now being held for reportedly almost two months in a foreign country, one which also happens to be currently engaging in a bloody war, these images will undoubtedly make for stressful viewing for her family and friends back home.

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"We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA," Griner's agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said.

"As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern."

The tense situation comes as the United States tightens its sanctions on Russia after president Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade the neighbouring country of Ukraine.

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With that going on in the background, there are mounting fears that Russian officials could use Griner as a "high-profile hostage".

"If we want her out of jail, Russia is going to have some terms," Evelyn Farkas, who served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia and Ukraine, told Yahoo Sports.

"It could be a prisoner swap. They also could use it as an implicit threat or blackmail to get us to do something or not do something. Either way, they find it useful."

Meanwhile, a Texas congresswoman has issued a directive to Russia, ordering authorities to release Griner.

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"We know that there were some issues dealing with vape cartridges and other items but let me be very clear," Sheila Jackson Lee said.

"Brittney Griner is a United States citizen, she was a guest in Russia... and I will be demanding her release."

Lee added: "I don't want to disregard a sovereign nation but Putin has disregarded sovereign nations his entire service in this world.

"Anyone that is killing and attacking and destroying Ukraine, a neighboring country that is not bothering them, has no right to hold Ms Griner. Period."

Featured Image Credit: CNN/Russian state TV/Alamy

Topics: NBA, WNBA, Australia, Russia

Max Sherry
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