Since February, Griner has been held captive in Russia.
Dennis Rodman declared on Saturday that he intends to contribute to the struggle to free detained WNBA star Brittney Griner and return her to the United States.
The prospective trip to Russia to secure Griner’s release was announced by the Basketball Hall of Famer in an interview with NBC News. Griner, 31, was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for having hashish oil in her luggage and was later charged with drug possession. She was given a nine-year term in a Russian correctional colony earlier this month.
Rodman declared, “I obtained clearance to go to Russia to help the girl. I’m attempting to travel this week. NBC claims that Rodman simply needs a visa from Moscow and does not need additional clearance from the United States to travel there.
Griner first pleaded guilty to the drug charges in July; but, after a month-long trial, he was found guilty of smuggling drugs with the intent to commit a crime on August 4. Griner, who the United States labeled as being “wrongfully arrested” in May, has remained in Russian custody as of Sunday.
The most recent reports on the U.S. government’s participation in achieving Griner’s release mention discussions centered on a prospective prisoner swap. In an effort to obtain the return of Griner and fellow American Paul Whelan in exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, the United States has been actively seeking to arrange a settlement.
The five-time NBA champion’s next trip to Russia will be his most recent diplomatic mission as an unofficial U.S. ambassador. In the past, Rodman traveled to North Korea on a few occasions that were well-documented in an effort to speak with Kim Jong-un and encourage peace amid the nation’s tense ties with the United States.
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