The Moscow regional court has set the beginning of WNBA star and Russian detainee Brittney Griner’s appeal hearing for Oct. 25, according to new reports on the case.
Griner, Phoenix Mercury player and Olympic gold medalist, was convicted on Aug. 4 for drug possession charges.
The court sentenced the athlete to nine years in a Russian prison and to pay a fine of one million rubles, about $16,400 dollars, Revolt reports.
Russian authorities initially apprehended the WNBA star in a Moscow airport in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her carry-on.
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Grinner has reportedly been waiting to hear about the information on her appeal process since her attorneys officially filed for an appeal on Aug. 15., PEOPLE details.
One of the athlete’s lawyers, Maria Blagovolina, told the outlet last month that “Brittney is stressed and very much concerned with the future.”
The appeal process will reportedly “take several months.”
“It’s not very fast,” emphasized Alexander Boykov, another of Griner’s attorneys.
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The athlete’s arrest in Russia happened amid heightened tensions between the country and the U.S. due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Griner’s sentencing also seemingly contrasts the more lenient punishment granted to a white American woman named Audrey Lorber in 2019.
Russian authorities apprehended Lorber for having in her possession 19 grams of marijuana — more than Griner is said to have possessed at the time of the athlete’s arrest.
Then 19-year-old, Lorber served around two months in a Russian prison after being found guilty of “attempting to import marijuana purchased in the U.S. into Russia,” according to The New York Post.
Lorber was additionally fined 15,000 rubles — converting to about $375 dollars.
News Surrounding Brittney Griner’s Appeal
The Phoenix Mercury player’s wife, Cherelle Griner, recently updated her followers on how the Biden Administration is trying to secure the athlete’s freedom.
Cherelle shared a photo of herself in the Oval Office with President Joe Biden on Instagram on Sept. 17.
“I want to thank President Biden for yesterday’s meeting as well as the Administration for its efforts to secure my wife’s release. It was an honor to speak with him directly about the Brittney we know and love. I’ve felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her. I look forward to the day my wife is back home,” Cherelle penned in the post’s caption.
“As my family and I continue on this journey, I’d like to thank the broad coalition of friends, leaders and supporters who continue to stand with us and advocate for Brittney’s swift and safe return,” she continued. “Let’s share a unified commitment to bringing all Americans home to their families and loved ones. Together We Are BG.”
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