Locked up in Russian prisons a few months ago, this athlete could win the gold medal in Paris

An athlete locked up by the Russian regime not long ago could participate in the Paris Games this summer and even win a medal that looks like revenge.

Locked up in Russian prisons a few months ago, this athlete could win the gold medal in Paris

An athlete locked up by the Russian regime not long ago could participate in the Paris Games this summer and even win a medal that looks like revenge.

A little over two years ago, Russia announced the arrest of American basketball player Brittney Griner at Moscow airport. The 33-year-old pivot had in fact been checked in possession of an electronic cigarette and a liquid containing cannabis, banned in Russia. This arrest provoked numerous international reactions, denouncing an arbitrary decision in the context of the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

A few days after her arrest, the basketball player was sentenced by a Moscow court to nine years in prison for “possession and trafficking of illicit products”. Brittney Griner spent ten months in Russian prisons, before finally being released on December 9, 2022, as part of a prisoner exchange between the two countries.

Since then, Brittney Griner has returned to the WNBA, to her Phoenix Mercury team. The nine-time All star and double Olympic champion returned to the court at the opening of the 2023 season last May. After missing the entire 2022 season due to his incarceration, the pivot had a good season on an individual level in 2023, with 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. She was also named an All-Star again.

The Phoenix player is also a central player for the United States national team. Double reigning Olympic champion, in 2016 in Rio and in 2021 in Tokyo, Griner returned to Team USA this year. She could therefore be present this summer to try to help her teammates win an eighth consecutive gold medal! It would be a third title for her.

However, if the United States qualifies as the reigning Olympic champions, Brittney Griner must still be selected among the twelve players selected by coach Cheryl Reeve. Indeed, if Brittney Griner participated in the preparation of Team USA for the Olympic qualifying tournament in Antwerp last February (the United States participates but does not take a qualifying place), she was not selected for participate. However, everything remains possible for the Mercury pivot, since the WNBA season does not resume until May, and the final selection for the Games will not be announced before June.

The arrival of Brittney Griner in Paris would be a great revenge for the player, particularly marked by this arrest in Russia. While she used to play for Euroleague teams during the WNBA offseason, Griner explained that she would "never play overseas again" outside of competition with the team. national.

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