American basketball star Brittney Griner returned to the United States after being released by Russia as part of a prisoner swap. The 32-year-old, who was arrested by the Russian authorities in Moscow for possession of cannabis oil, was released in exchange for the 55-year-old Russian arms dealer called Viktor Bout. Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison by the US authorities.

AFP reported the Griner was spotted on the runway after her flight landed in San Antonio, Texas. It also claimed that WNBA star will undergo medical checks at a military facility in Texas.

The prisoner exchange between the two authorities took place in Abu Dhabi with footage released by the Russian state media showing the basketball star without her dreadlocks. Bout and Griner crossed each other on the airport tarmac and were taken to their respective flights.

US President Joe Biden earlier said that she was in “good spirits” after suffering “needless trauma.”

Biden met with Griner’s wife – Cherelle Griner – when the prison exchange was announced.

“I’m just standing here, overwhelmed with emotions,” Cherelle Griner said. “Today my family is whole, but as you all are aware there’s so many other families who are not whole.”

While the news of Griner’s release was greeted with celebrations, several people expressed disappointment at former US Marine Paul Whelan not being part of the deal.

Whelan was detained by the Russian authorities on accusations of espionage.

“I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here,” Whelan told CNN in a phone call.

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