Brittney Griner worried she may not be released from Russian prison, lawyer says

As Brittney Griner continues to be held in a Russian prison on drug charges, the WNBA star fears her chances of being released in a prisoner swap are dwindling, her lawyer tells the New York Times.

“She is not yet absolutely convinced that America will be able to take her home,” lawyer Alexandr Boykov said in a recent interview. “She is very worried about what the price of that will be, and she is afraid that she will have to serve the whole sentence here in Russia.”

Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, was convicted in August after officials said they found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport in February.

WNBA star Brittney Griner shakes hands with her laywer as she listens a verdict in a Russian courtroom.
WNBA star Brittney Griner shakes hands with her laywer as she listens a verdict in a Russian courtroom.

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Boykov also said Griner "suffers a lot without her family because she hasn’t seen them for so long and it’s very difficult to talk to them in any way.”

In an interview last week, Griner's wife Cherelle told CBS Mornings that the ordeal has been like the plot of a movie, with world leaders discussing the WNBA star's fate.

"It terrifies me because when you watch movies sometimes those situations don't end well," she said. "Sometimes they never get the person back."

U.S. and Russian officials have broached the subject of a potential prisoner swap that would allow Griner to return home. Earlier this week, President Joe Biden said he would be willing to discuss the situation with Russian president Vladimir Putin at next month's Group of 20 meeting in Indonesia.

Griner has an appeals court hearing on Oct. 25 to possibly reduce her sentence, which Boykov has called "an unprecedented punishment" for marijuana possession.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brittney Griner feels isolated, anxious as talks continue, lawyer says