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Rodman plans Russia trip for jailed Griner: report

#Rodman #plans #Russia #trip #jailed #Griner #report

Eccentric former NBA star Dennis Rodman is planning a trip to Russia to secure the release of jailed WNBA player Brittney Griner, NBC News reported Sunday.

The network quoted Rodman as saying he hoped to fly to Russia this week to help basketball superstar Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Moscow court earlier this month on drug charges.

“I got permission to go to Russia to help this girl,” Rodman told NBC. “I’m trying to go this week.”

According to NBC, no further details were given by Rodman, who was speaking at a Washington restaurant where he was attending a sportswear trade show.

A senior official in US President Joe Biden’s administration said in a statement to AFP: “It is public information that the government has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than further negotiations through the established channel is likely to complicate the release effort and will hinder .”

Rodman, 61, a five-time former NBA champion, has a record of unorthodox forays into geopolitics.

He has developed a relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un over the past decade and has made several trips to the reclusive state. He traveled to Singapore in 2018 when Kim met former US President Donald Trump.

Rodman has also spoken out in praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past. In 2014, he called Putin “actually cool” after meeting the Russian leader in Moscow.

Two-time Olympic basketball gold medalist and women’s NBA champion, Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for possessing vape cartridges containing a small amount of cannabis oil.

The 31-year-old, who was in Russia during her Phoenix Mercury offseason to play for Yekaterinburg’s professional team, was charged with drug smuggling and sentenced to nine years in a penal colony in early August.

Griner pleaded guilty to the charges but said she had no intention of using the banned substance in Russia.

Since her arrest, Moscow and Washington have held talks over a possible prisoner swap, despite rising tensions over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

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