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US was able to contact imprisoned basketball star

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The US government has been able to contact two-time Olympic basketball champion Brittney Griner, who is being held in Moscow. Consular access to Griner was granted Wednesday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said. “The consular officer who visited Brittney Griner was able to ensure that she is doing the best that can be expected under these very difficult circumstances.”

The US State Department had previously urged consular attention. Last week it was said that the US government had been denied access to Griner. Griner is in custody at Moscow airport after being arrested for alleged drug possession. A Moscow region court in the city of Khimki had extended the arrest until May 19.

As the Interfax news agency reported in early March, citing Russian customs, so-called hashish oil and vape cartridges were discovered in the American’s luggage during an inspection in February. According to the information, he faces between five and ten years in prison. In addition to her WNBA commitment, the 31-year-old US national player has also played for the UMMC Yekaterinburg team in the Urals since 2015. Griner has won the EuroLeague four times with the top Russian club. (dpa)

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