US Olympic Champion Basketball Player, Brittney Griner, has been jailed in Russia for nine years.
Griner who was accused of drug smuggling and was questioned at the Khimki City Court in Moscow and jailed on August 4.
But Griner’s agent called the Russian court’s nine-year prison sentence for the professional athlete “severe.”
“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 Colas wrote in a three-part tweet.
“We must remain focused and unified. This is a time for compassion and a shared understanding that getting a deal done to bring Americans home will be hard, but it is urgent and it is the right thing to do,” she added.
Meanwhile, Russia has not responded substantively to the Biden administration’s offer for the release of WNBA star and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, a U.S. official told NBC News.
The Biden administration does not expect the Russian government to move swiftly on the U.S. proposal, the official said.
The official added that Deputy White House Homeland Security Adviser, Josh Geltzer, spoke to Griner’s wife, Cherelle, last week and that senior members of Biden’s national security team are in “regular contact” with Griner’s representatives and family. (CNBC)
Pix: Brittney Griner