Sports Briefs for Thursday, May 2

May 1—Griner: I wanted to kill myself

PHOENIX — WNBA star Brittney Griner said she thought about killing herself during her first few weeks in a Russian jail after her 2022 arrest on drug-related charges.

Griner spoke for the first time about her monthslong detention in Russia during an hourlong interview that aired Wednesday night on ABC. Her memoir, "Coming Home," is set to be released on May 7.

Griner was detained after arriving at a Moscow airport after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges allegedly containing oil derived from cannabis.

"I wanted to take my life more than once in the first weeks," Griner told interviewer Robin Roberts. "I felt like leaving here so badly."

She decided against it in part because she was afraid the Russian authorities wouldn't release her body to her family.

Her plight unfolded at the same time Russia invaded Ukraine and further heightened tensions between Russia and the U.S., ending only after she was freed in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Griner said before she was released, she was forced to write a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"They made me write this letter. It was in Russian," she said. "I had to ask for forgiveness and thanks from their so-called great leader. I didn't want to do it, but at the same time I wanted to come home."

Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury. The WNBA season begins on May 14.

Garcia denies using drugs

NEW YORK — Ryan Garcia denied using performance-enhancing drugs in a video posted on social media Wednesday night after ESPN reported that he had tested positive for a banned substance.

Garcia defeated Devin Haney, a former amateur rival, by majority decision on April 20 in New York. Garcia knocked Haney down three times and handed the WBC super lightweight champion his first loss but did not win the title because he was over the weight limit.

"Everybody knows that I don't cheat," Garcia said in a video posted on X. "Never taken a steroid ... I don't even know where to get steroids. ... I barely take supplements. Big lies."

ESPN reported that the 25-year-old Garcia tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Ostarine the day before and the day of the fight, citing a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association letter. Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator, and its use can stimulate muscle growth. The drug is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The samples were taken before the fight.

"We learned about this situation not too long ago and it's unfortunate Ryan cheated and disrespected both the fans and the sport of boxing by fighting dirty and breaking positive not once, but twice," Haney said in a statement to ESPN, adding: "This puts the fight in a completely different light."

Garcia's victory could be overturned if the positive drug test is confirmed.