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State Department officials meet with Brittney Griner's Phoenix Mercury teammates

Griner was detained on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after Russian authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing a cannabis derivative.

PHOENIX — State Department officials have met with representatives of Brittney Griner’s WNBA team about the Phoenix Mercury star’s months-long detention in Russia and the Biden administration’s efforts to secure her release. 

The State Department confirmed the meeting, which involved officials from its specialized office that advocates for hostages and wrongfully detained Americans, but offered no additional details about what was said or any upcoming plans to secure her release.

Griner's coach and teammates spoke out about the 31-year-old's detainment, according to a press release from the team.

"We’re here to do whatever we can to amplify and keep BG at the forefront, which is more important than any basketball game and anything else that’s going on in our lives," Mercury guard Diana Taurasi said. "We want BG to come home as soon as possible, it’s number one on our list"

“We are on day 116 since BG has been wrongfully detained," head coach Vanessa Nygaard exclaimed. "She’s our teammate, she’s an American and we want her back home.”

The administration has previously said it's working to bring Griner and another American, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, home from Russia. 

The Mercury organization says Arizona Rep. Greg Stanton is pushing for a bipartisan resolution that will lead to Griner's release.

Griner was detained on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after Russian authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing a cannabis derivative.

    

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