Rodman said he had received permission to go to Russia. This is not the first time that the basketball player has engaged in informal diplomacy.
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(Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman told NBC Sport that he will soon travel to Russia to help secure the release of American basketball player Brittney Greiner, who was convicted of drug smuggling.
On August 4, the two-time Olympic champion was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment in a general-regime prison, and was also fined 1 million rubles. for hashish oil vape cartridges found in her luggage. On August 15, Greiner’s defense appealed the verdict.
“I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl. I will try to go this week,” said 61-year-old Rodman.
Greiner, a basketball player sentenced to nine years, appealed the sentence
Greiner was detained at the Sheremetyevo airport in February, a case was opened against her under item “c” part 2 of Art. 229.1 of the Criminal Code (contraband of narcotics in a significant amount). The basketball player pleaded guilty on July 7, but noted that she had no intention of committing a crime.
At the end of July, it became known that the administration of Joseph Biden offered to exchange Greiner and the term he is serving in Russia in the Paul Whelan espionage case for the businessman Victor Bout, who was convicted in the United States. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed the possibility of such an exchange.
Rodman made several trips to North Korea in 2013-2018, including meeting with Kim Jong Un and asking him to release US citizen Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for “attempting to subvert state order.” Rodman has previously called Russian President Vladimir Putin “pretty cool” and “cool guy” on more than one occasion.