Brittney Griner, WNBA star spoke for the first time since returning to the US nearly 10 months after she was arrested and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for drug smuggling, vowing to return to the field this season to play.
Griner posted a lengthy statement on her Instagram Friday, where she thanked several people, including the WNBA, the Biden Administration, the league and his family for advocating for his safe return home.
“It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle in every way. I searched deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that kept me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for your help,” he wrote in the publication.
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Griner returned to the US last week after the Biden administration and Russia agreed to a prisoner exchange in which Griner would be sent back to the US from a penal colony to Victor’s fight – a convicted arms dealer known as the “Death Merchant”.
“President Biden, you brought me home, and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home, too,” Griner said Friday.
The basketball star was arrested at a Moscow airport in early February after Russian authorities said he had vape cartridges laced with cannabis oil inside his luggage. She was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty, arguing that she had been prescribed cannabis for her pain and inadvertently packed it.
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The State Department said over the summer that it had offered a substantial proposal aimed at bring Griner and Whelan home, but after months of no progress, the two sides finally agreed to a deal that only ensured Griner’s return.
“I will use my platform to do everything I can to help you,” Griner wrote. “I also encourage everyone who played a role in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole.”
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the two-time Olympic gold medalist He also took the opportunity to announce that he will return for the next WNBA season.
“I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to saying ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon. “.