After being found guilty of smuggling drugs with criminal intent in Russia, Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison and was fined 1 million rubles ($16,590), according to The Washington Post.

The basketball star appeared in court on Thursday, becoming emotional while pleading with the judge for leniency.

The nine-year sentence was close to the maximum sentencing and the requested time by prosecutors, who asked for 9.5 years in their closing arguments, CNN reports.


The verdict and sentencing will add pressure on the Biden administration, which previously offered a prisoner exchange deal, as Blavity previously reported.

According to the Post, Griner’s freedom now depends on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will make the final decision on the administration’s offer.