Russia Griner

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a court room ater a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. A judge in Russia has convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling and sentenced her to nine years in prison. 

WASHINGTON — Now that WNBA star Brittney Griner has been convicted of drug possession and sentenced to nine years in prison, attention turns to the prospect of a prisoner swap between the United States and Russia that could get her home.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken went public with that possibility last week, revealing in an unusual announcement that the U.S. had made a "substantial proposal" aimed at securing the release of Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan.

With her court case concluded and her sentence pronounced, such a deal — assuming one can be reached with the Russians — is Griner's best chance of being freed early.

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