Detained WNBA star Brittney Griner's wife urged President Joe Biden to "go get her" after the two-time Olympian was detained by Russian authorities in February. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo
May 25 (UPI) -- Cherelle Griner, the wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, is urging President Joe Biden to help bring home the Phoenix Mercury center after she was detained in Russia.
"There is one person that can go get her, and that's our president," Cherelle Griner said Wednesday in an interview on ESPN. "He has that power. You know, I'm just like 'Why are we not using it? Like, urgently, use it.' We're expecting him to use his power to get it done."
Brittney Griner, 31, was detained at a Moscow airport in February for allegedly carrying cannabis-oil vape cartridges, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The two-time Olympic gold medalist had flown from New York to Moscow to play basketball overseas during the off-season.
Griner was scheduled to appear in a Russian court on May 19, but the court extended her pretrial detention another 30 days into June.
Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department changed Griner's designation and said she was being "wrongfully detained" by Russia's government. The change in designation means the U.S. government will no longer wait for the Russian justice system to resolve the issue and will take more proactive steps to win her release.
Cherelle Griner said she has spoken with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and has been in communication with Brittney through letters.
"I'm in a position of complete vulnerability right now. I have to trust people that I didn't even know until Feb. 17. So I'm trusting her lawyers. 'How does she look? How is her spirit? How is her energy?' I'm just asking all those questions, trying to just get some type of indication or vibe," Cherelle Griner said.
"Some days they say, 'She's really strong. ... She seemed in good spirits when we talked.' And sometimes they'll say, 'Her energy was really low.'"