The Brittney Griner case goes on, even following her sentencing to nine years in prison in Russia last week.
But there is still hope that the WNBA star will return to the United States as part of a prisoner swap between her home country and Russia, where she now finds herself trapped.
“I’m optimistic,” said Bill Richardson, a former ambassador of the United States to the U.N.
“I think she’s going to be free. There’s going to be a prisoner swap, though, and I think it’ll be two for two and involving Paul Whelan; we can’t forget him.
“All of these that are wrongfully detained need to come home.”
Richardson added that his foundation, The Richardson Center, is involved in talks for the release of three other Americans held by Russia. He did explain, though, that government-to-government talks would need to be held.
Brittney Griner sentence
Griner was sentenced to a harsh nine years in Russia last week for drug possession and smuggling. She pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession.
The Griner trial rolled on for almost six months after her February arrest at a Moscow airport, having been found to be in possession of cannabis oils in cartridges.
It is now hoped that Griner can return to the United States as part of a prisoner exchange that is likely to include Paul Whelan and Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer.