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PHX WNBA star Brittney Griner's wife says scheduled phone call was never connected at embassy in Russia

Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury appears during pregame warmups at Footprint Center in Phoenix last fall.
Mike Mattina
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Getty Images
Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury appears during pregame warmups at Footprint Center in Phoenix last fall.

The wife of Phoenix Mercury WNBA star Brittney Griner who remains jailed in Russia says she tried to call her wife nearly a dozen times through the American embassy in Russia Saturday, but they never connected.

Cherelle Griner says the phone line at the embassy was not staffed even though the call was planned on the couple’s fourth wedding anniversary.

She told the Associated Press that she hasn’t spoken to her wife by phone in the four months since Griner’s arrest in Russia on drug-related charges.

Cherelle Griner says Saturday’s long-awaited call was planned well in advance, but contact was never made.

Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner has been detained since February when Russian authorities say they found cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage.

Advocates for her release worry she is being used as a political pawn in Russia’s war against Ukraine and U.S. sanctions.