Sports Digest: Russian court sets Brittney Griner appeal date for Oct. 25 – Press Herald

  • October 4, 2022

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Brittney Griner was convicted Aug. 4 after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.
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BASKETBALL
A Russian court on Monday set Oct. 25 as the date for American basketball star Brittney Griner’s appeal against her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.
Griner, an eight-time all-star center with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was convicted Aug. 4 after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
The Moscow region court said it will hear her appeal.
Griner admitted that she had the canisters in her luggage, but testified that she had inadvertently packed them in haste and that she had no criminal intent. Her defense team presented written statements that she had been prescribed cannabis to treat pain.
The nine-year sentence was close to the maximum of 10 years, and Griner’s lawyers argued after the conviction that the punishment was excessive. They said in similar cases defendants have received an average sentence of about five years, with about a third of them granted parole.

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COLLEGES
FOOTBALL: Alabama Coach Nick Saban says quarterback Bryce Young is “day-to-day” with a sprained throwing shoulder.
Saban said he didn’t have any substantive update on the status of last season’s Heisman Trophy winner. The top-ranked Crimson Tide face Texas A&M on Saturday night.
“There’s no updates on Bryce,” he said. “He’s got a little bit of a shoulder injury. It’s not a long-term injury.”
Saban spoke before practice, which is closed to the media.
• Tennessee Coach Josh Heupel said wide receiver Cedric Tillman had surgery to speed up recovery from an injury.

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The 6-foot-3, 215-pound graduate hurt his left ankle in Tennessee’s rout of Akron and did not play in the Vols’ win over Florida on Sept. 24. The eighth-ranked Vols (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) visit No. 25 LSU (4-1, 2-10) on Saturday.
“We’ll see where he’s at,” Heupel said of Tillman. “He was limited, but moving around a little bit today. We’ll continue to see how it unfolds this week and see where we’re at.”
• Ryan Lindley, San Diego State’s all-time passing leader, was hired as quarterbacks coach at his alma mater, two days after offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski was fired.
TENNIS
BILLIE JEAN KING CUP: Top-ranked Iga Swiatek will not play in the Billie Jean King Cup and complained about that event being scheduled to start immediately after the WTA Finals.
“I’m disappointed that (the) tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone,” Swiatek wrote on social media. “This situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury.”

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The WTA Finals – which close out the women’s tennis tour’s season and are for the top eight singles players and top eight doubles teams – are in Fort Worth, Texas, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7. The Billie Jean King Cup – a team competition run by the International Tennis Federation – will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from Nov. 8-13.
AGEL OPEN: Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakova came from a set down to defeat Madison Keys 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round at Ostrava, Czech Republic.
GOLF
RYDER CUP: The biggest team event in golf is coming to Italy and the Ryder Cup’s organizing committee is concerned that the locals might miss the party.
About 90% of the tickets sold so far for the 2023 contest between the United States and Europe at the Marco Simone club outside Rome have gone to foreigners, according to Gian Paolo Montali, a former coach of Italy’s national volleyball team who is the local organizing committee’s executive director.
At 975 euros ($950) per ticket, the full allocation of season passes for the Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023 event sold out in seven hours.

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While Ryder Cup Europe would not disclose exact numbers, it did say that it’s the most season tickets ever sold for the event in Europe.
A ballot is currently underway to sell general admission daily tickets – which comprise the majority of the tickets.
HOCKEY
NHL: Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out 5 to 7 weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.
The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.
Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.
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