US basketball player Britney Griner has begun serving a nine-year sentence for drug possession in a Russian penal colony, her attorney and agent said.
Griner was transferred to a penal colony in Mordovia, about 350 kilometers (210 miles) east of Moscow, after a Russian court rejected her appeal against her sentence last month.
Her attorney said he visited her earlier this week.
“Britney is doing well as expected and is trying to stay strong as she adapts to her new surroundings,” her attorney said in a statement.
The All-Star Center, home to WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained in February when customs officials said they found an e-cigarette canister containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. I got
At trial, Griner admitted to having the canister in his luggage, but said he had inadvertently stuffed it in his haste to board the plane and had no criminal intent.
Her legal team released a statement that she was prescribed cannabis to treat chronic pain.
The Biden administration has been trying for months to negotiate the release of Griner and another American imprisoned in Russia, Michigan corporate security officer Paul Whelan.
Whelan was also convicted of espionage-related charges in 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in prison before being sent to a Mordovian penal colony.