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WNBA Star Britney Griner’s Trial in Russia to Begin on Friday

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner

Photographer: Mike Mattina/Getty Images 

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Moscow (AP) -- Shackled and looking wary, WNBA star Brittney Griner was ordered Monday to stand trial by a court near Moscow on cannabis possession charges, about 4 1/2 months after her arrest at an airport while returning to play for a Russian team.

The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist also was ordered to remain in custody for the duration of her criminal trial, which was to begin Friday. Griner could face 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.