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WNBA Star Brittney Griner Ordered To Trial Friday in Russia

MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - JUNE 27, 2022: US Olympic champion basketball player Brittney Griner (R) charged with drug smuggling arrives for a preliminary hearing at the Khimki City Court. Video screen grab. Best quality available. Maxim Grigoryev/TASS/Sipa USA

MOSCOW (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in a court near Moscow that ordered her trial on cannabis possession charges to begin Friday, about 4 1/2 months after she was arrested at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team. The two-time Olympic gold medalist also was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial — up to six months. The 31-year-old center for the Phoenix Mercury could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

—Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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