Women's basketball star Brittney Griner has landed in the U.S. early Friday, after being released from a Russian penal colony as part of a prisoner exchange for a Russian arms dealer, according to a U.S. official.

Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens tweeted, "So happy to have Brittney back on U.S. soil. Welcome home BG!"

Ms. Griner landed in the early hours of Friday. U.S. officials said Thursday that she is likely headed to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio for evaluation.

Russian authorities detained Ms. Griner in the days before Russia invaded Ukraine in February. She was found to be carrying hashish oil in her luggage and was later convicted by Russian authorities of drug smuggling and possession. She was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony.

On Thursday, she was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. The pair were swapped on an airport runway in Abu Dhabi after a plane carried Ms. Griner from Russia to an air base in the United Arab Emirates. Ms. Griner then departed for the U.S.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 09, 2022 06:19 ET (11:19 GMT)

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