A Russian Court in Moscow, on Thursday, sentenced US basketball player Brittney Griner to nine years for drug possession and smuggling.
A fine of 1 million rubles ($16,300) was also imposed on the WNBA star who played for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg team before she was arrested.
According to Russia’s state media, prosecutors earlier said the charges against Griner were fully proven, and sought a 9.5-year sentence in a penal colony. The period of pre-trial custody will be applied to her sentence for time already served.
The 31-year-old was arrested in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after authorities found cannabis oil in her possession.
She pleaded guilty in July to drug charges, but has maintained she used medicinal cannabis to treat pain and denied intending to violate Russian law.
As a member of the US women’s national team, Griner won gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 World Championships, as well as at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
The US government offered a swap deal that includes Griner and Paul Whelan, who has been held in Russia since 2018 on espionage charges.