WNBA’s Griner’s wife told The Associated Press that the scheduled call never happened

Sheryl Greiner mentioned Monday that Britney Greiner tried to name her spouse almost a dozen occasions by way of the US Embassy in Russia on the couple’s fourth anniversary on Saturday, however they by no means referred to as as a result of the embassy’s cellphone line was not staffed. .

The pair haven’t spoken on the cellphone within the 4 months since Greiner’s arrest in Russia, the place she stays imprisoned. That was set to alter on Saturday, when a long-awaited name was due after the Russian authorities’s approval. However the day got here and went with none communication, leaving the stricken Cheryl Greiner questioning what had occurred and suspecting a minimum of at first that the decision had been foiled by Russian authorities.

On Monday, she mentioned she had discovered from her spouse’s lawyer an much more disturbing reality: Britney Grenier had already tried to name 11 occasions over the course of a number of hours, dialing a quantity she gave her on the US Embassy in Moscow, the quantity the couple gave. He was then informed that he would repair the decision by way of Cherelle Griner in Phoenix. However every time, the decision went unanswered as a result of the embassy workplace the place the cellphone rang was apparently unstaffed on Saturday.

I used to be carried out, sick,” Cheryl Greiner informed The Related Press in an interview, recounting how the anniversary she had been eagerly anticipating was as an alternative spent in tears. “I am certain I texted the BG agent and mentioned, ‘I do not wish to discuss to anybody. It will take me a minute to place my emotions collectively, and inform everybody I am unavailable proper now. As a result of he simply took me out. I wasn’t feeling nicely, I am nonetheless not feeling nicely.”

“We deeply remorse that Britney Greiner was unable to talk together with her spouse attributable to a logistical error,” the State Division mentioned Monday. The ministry reiterated that it doesn’t give the next precedence than the security of Individuals overseas and that it’s nonetheless in common contact with the households of the hostages and unlawful detainees.

For Sheryl Greiner, the expertise exacerbated an already simmering frustration concerning the US authorities’s response to her spouse’s case. Though US officers have repeatedly mentioned they’re working behind the scenes to carry the two-time Olympic gold medalist house from Russia, she mentioned she was “very offended” concerning the mess, particularly because the name was on schedule for 2 weeks and, nonetheless, he didn’t warn her No person is throughout that point that this can be logistically not possible as a result of weekend.

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She added, “I discover that unacceptable and haven’t any confidence in our authorities for the time being. If I can not belief you to take a name on Saturday exterior of enterprise hours, how can I belief that you just’re really negotiating on my spouse’s behalf to go house? As a result of that is a a lot greater request than making a Saturday name.

Cheryl Greiner mentioned an acquaintance within the US authorities had apologized to her for the error. She mentioned she’s since discovered that the one quantity Britney Greiner gave to name normally handles calls from prisoners from Mondays by way of Fridays however not on weekends, which is why nobody was there to divert the decision.

“However understand that this cellphone name has been scheduled for almost two weeks – with the weekend due,” Sheryl Greiner mentioned within the interview.

Seven-time WNBA star Britney Greiner who performs for Phoenix Mercury was detained at a Russian airport on February 17 after authorities there mentioned a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing hashish oil.

The State Division in Might designated her unjustly detainedShe strikes her case beneath the supervision of her Particular Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, successfully the federal government’s chief hostage negotiator. Final week, the state-run Russian information company reported that her detention had been prolonged till July 3.

Sheryl Greiner mentioned she nonetheless hoped to speak to or meet with President Joe Biden, however “at this level he started to really feel rejected.”

Up to now, Cheryl Greiner says that she has needed to rely solely on different individuals’s assessments about her spouse’s situation. Legal professionals and consular affairs officers have been in a position to communicate with the basketball star, however her spouse didn’t.

The night earlier than the decision, she slept at 5 p.m. to be awake and awake in the midst of the night time to obtain the anticipated name from Russia to Phoenix that by no means got here.

“This was an enormous second as a result of this was going to be the primary time I might actually inform if she was okay,” mentioned Sheryl Greiner, calling it a “life or demise” alternative to discern how his spouse was really holding up. “It was the primary time I might heard her in actual time and actually knew if she was okay or if she was seconds away from not being there anymore.”


Feinberg reported from New York. Creator Matthew Lee at The Related Press in Washington contributed to this report.