U.S. reclassifies WNBA star Brittney Griner as ‘wrongfully detained’ by Russia
T.J. Quinn, ESPN Staff Write
The U.S. government now considers WNBA star Brittney Griner to be “wrongfully detained” by the Russian government, signaling a significant shift in how officials will try to get her home.
“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the U.S government,” the State Department said. “The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner.
“… The U.S. government will continue to undertake efforts to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner.”
The officials and other sources close to Griner’s case declined to say what led to the shift or whether there have been any discussions about what it would take to secure her release.
“Brittney has been detained for 75 days and our expectation is that the White House do whatever is necessary to bring her home,” Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, said in a statement to ESPN on Tuesday.
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