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- WNBA superstar Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February on drug smuggling charges.
- Those close to the situation have adopted a “say less, push privately” strategy to aid in her return.
- Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told Insider that Griner’s “representation has been able to see her” in Russian jail.
WNBA superstar Brittney Griner has been in Russian custody for approximately one month after she was arrested in February for possession of marijuana at a Moscow airport.
A source close to the situation told Insider Thursday that “Brittney is OK” and has regularly met with her legal representation throughout her detainment. Still, few details surrounding the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s precarious situation have been confirmed.
The drug trafficking case being brought against her, the state of her defense, and even Griner’s whereabouts remain unclear — but that lack of transparency is by design, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told Insider.
Griner with Team USA.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
The relative silence from league, team, and US government officials is part of a “say less and push more privately behind the scenes” strategy to get Griner home as quickly as possible, Engelbert confirmed to Insider.
“We’re in daily contact with her agent, her family, her legal representation,” the commissioner added. “So it’s everybody coordinating on this and obviously we don’t want to do or say anything that is going to jeopardize her safety.”
Griner’s teammates on the Phoenix Mercury and players across the WNBA “have been very cognizant of how important the strategy is,” Engelbert said, and have largely adhered to the agreed-upon policy of silence. Still, the league’s stars have wanted to send messages of support to the seven-time WNBA All-Star, and Engelbert confirmed that they’ve made contact with Griner since she’s been in Russian custody.
Griner during the 2021 WNBA Finals.
“We’ve been able to do [that], to make sure she knows that we’re supportive and she’s loved, et cetera,” the commissioner said, adding that Griner’s “representation has been able to see her. That’s all I can say.”
Griner has been detained in Russia since her arrest in February, when agents at Sheremetyevo Airport found vape cartridges …….