标记档案: BasketballTestifiesSupportBrittney

Russian Basketball Team Testifies in Support of Brittney Griner During Trial: ‘The Heart of Our Team

Russian Basketball Team Testifies in Support of Brittney Griner During Trial: 'The Heart of Our Team'

布兰妮·格林纳‘s most recent appearance in a Russian court again ended without a verdict.

The detained WNBA star, 31, appeared for a third hearing Thursday outside Moscow, after she pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs into Russia a week earlier.

在听证会上, members of of the professional Russian basketball team Griner plays for, UMMC Yekaterinburg, spoke highly of Griner’s contributions, 根据 纽约时报. The director of the team testified to Griner’soutstanding abilities as a player and personal contribution to the strengthening [的] the team’s spirit,” the basketball star’s lawyer told the 时代.

In addition to team director Maksim Ryabkov, a team doctor and the team’s captain, Evgeniya Belyakova, also testified Thursday, with Belyakova telling the court that Griner isthe heart of our team,” 根据 NPR’s Charles Maynes.

Griner did not testify at Thurday’s hearing, 哪一个 “did not touch at all,” on Griner’s guilty plea aside from questions posed to the defense’s witnesses about any possible past drug use by the two-time Olympic medalist and seven-time WNBA All-Star, 根据 美国国家公共电台. The witnesses all testified that any prior drug use by Griner would beimpossibledue to her playing schedule and drug testing.

A fourth hearing in Griner’s trial has been scheduled for Friday, 根据 美国有线电视新闻网. 星期四, a Kremlin spokesperson declined to discuss the possibility of a prisoner exchange with the U.S. government that could send Griner home. A spokeswoman with the Russian Foreign Ministry also said that any negotiations concerning Griner could only prove productive after a verdict in her case has been reached, 根据 时代.

Phoenix Mercury Brittney Griner (C) is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki City Court, outside Moscow, Russia, 14 七月 2022.

Phoenix Mercury Brittney Griner (C) is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki City Court, outside Moscow, Russia, 14 七月 2022.
信用: YURI KOCHETKOV/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

上个星期, Griner pleaded guilty to bringing cannabis products into Russia — where it is considered illegal — but said that she was packing quickly and did not mean to break the law, saying she did soinadvertently.

当时, Griner’s legal team, Maria Blagovolina from Rybalkin Gortsunyan Dyakin and Alexander Boykov from Moscow Legal Center, shared a statement with PEOPLE that said her guilty pleawas her decision informed by discussion with her legal defense team in Russia.

Brittney sets an example of being brave. She decided to take full responsibility for her actions as she knows that she is a role model for many people,” 声明继续.

Her lawyers said that because ofthe nature of her case, the insignificant amount of the substance and BG’s personality and history of positive contributions to global and Russian sport,” they hoped that her plea will help the athlete avoid asevere sentence.

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Griner 面朝上 10 入狱年. Despite her guilty plea, Griner’s trial is expected to continue until sentencing at the beginning of next month, her legal team told PEOPLE.

Griner was arrested February 17 at the Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow on allegations that she was in possession of vape cartridges containing hash oil while traveling through the airport. She was put into a Russian detention center where she has been held for more than four and a half months.

相关视频: Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty to Russian Drug Charges: ‘I Did Not Want to Break the Law

The Phoenix Mercury player first appeared in court for the start of her trial on July 1, when the Russian court accused her of moving asignificant amountof cannabis oil through the country.

五月, 美国. State Department classified Griner’s arrest as wrongful detainment.

The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “美国. Government will continue to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner and her family.

Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was put front-and-center last weekend during the league’s All-Star Weekend events. The WNBA named Griner an honorary All-Star and displayed her name and number, 42, on the court at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. All of the athletes who played in Sunday’s All-Star game wore Griner’s jersey for the second half of the exhibition.