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American women's basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted of deliberately smuggling drugs into Russia and sentenced to nine years of jail time.

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Judge Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court delivered the sentence and fined Griner 1 million rubles, or about $16,400.

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She said the court took into account Griner's partial admission of guilt, remorse for the deed, state of health and charitable activities. Prosecutors had asked that she be sentenced to 9.5 years in jail.

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Prior to the verdict, Griner apologized to the court and asked for leniency in an emotional speech.

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"I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here," Griner said. "I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn't end my life here.

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"I want to say again that I had no intent on breaking any Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime," she added.

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The two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist pleaded guilty to drug charges last month and said she accidentally packed the drugs while in a hurry.

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"We continue to insist that, by indiscretion, in a hurry, she packed her suitcase and did not pay attention to the fact that substances allowed for use in the United States ended up in this suitcase and arrived in the Russian Federation," Boykov, of Moscow Legal Center, has said.

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