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WNBA's Griner convicted at drug trial, sentenced to 9 years

Brittney Griner
Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
/
AP
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a court room ater a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. A judge in Russia has convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling and sentenced her to nine years in prison. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling.

She was sentenced to nine years in prison in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow.

Griner showed little emotion to the sentence but her lawyers said later she was “very upset, very stressed.”

U.S. President Joe Biden denounced as “unacceptable” the verdict and sentence, which came amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine.

Griner had told the court she had no intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.