Lawyers and her agent said Thursday that WNBA star Brittney Griner has started her nine-year sentence for drug possession at a Russian penal colony.
Griner has been sent to a prison colony in Mordovia, which is about 330 kilometers (210 miles) east of Moscow.
Her lawyers said that they went to see her earlier this week.
Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment,
her lawyers said in a statement.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and all-star center for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA was detained in February after customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.
Griner admitted at her trial that she had the canisters in her luggage, but she said she packed them by accident because she was in a hurry to catch her flight and didn’t mean to do anything wrong. Her defense team gave written statements that said she was given cannabis to treat her long-term pain.
The Biden administration has been trying for months to get Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Paul Whelan, who works in corporate security in Michigan, out of jail.
Whelan was also sent to a prison colony in Mordovia after being found guilty of spying and given a 16-year prison sentence in 2020.