Brittney Griner Reportedly ‘Heartbroken’ Over Paul Whelan Remaining In Russia

The WNBA star was freed a week ago today.

Today marks one week since Brittney Griner was freed from captivity in Russia on drug charges. However, former Marine Paul Whelan is still being held on espionage charges. While he has been classified as wrongfully detained, he has served four years out of a six-year sentence. The WNBA star is now speaking out via her agent on Whelan’s status in Russia.

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, told CNN that Griner is “heartbroken” that Whelan is still in Russia. “She is thinking about his family and talked about her intention to call them as soon as she gets home,” Colas said. “She’s really committed to telling this story and making sure that this population of wrongfully detained Americans, that people know their names.”

Conservatives have blasted the Biden administration over exchanging Griner instead of Whelan. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the swap was “unconscionable.” Florida Senator Rick Scott called it “weak & disgusting.” GOP Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is seen as moderate, claimed the swap made Biden look weak. Biden’s critics ignore that Whelan was not offered in the exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout. Russia offered Griner or nothing.

Whelan’s family supports Griner’s release and said their cases were never “intertwined.” Additionally, reports have surfaced that there was a possibility of a prisoner swap for Bout and Whelan during the Trump administration. Former White House national security official Fiona Hill said Trump wasn't "particularly interested.”

RELATED: Russian Arms Dealer Victor Bout Reveals What He Said To Brittney Griner At Prisoner Exchange

Griner spent 294 days in Russian custody after she was arrested in February. Russian Federal Customs Service at Sheremetyevo Airport near Moscow accused her of having hashish oil vape cartridges in her luggage. She was found guilty and sentenced to nine years. Her last few weeks were spent in a “notoriously harsh” Russian penal colony, which has reports of starvation and beatings. Griner is currently at Kelly Field air base in San Antonio, and is reported to be in “good health” while undergoing a series of mental and physical evaluations.

Colas also revealed it’s unknown when Griner will return to the WNBA, but she has already stepped back on the basketball court at the air base.

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