Two-time Olympic champion Brittney Griner has said she will only travel abroad for basketball again to represent the US at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

American basketball star Brittney Griner has vowed that she will not play abroad again except for an Olympic Games, after being detained in Russia for 10 months last year.

Griner was handed a nine-year prison sentence in Russia in August last year after cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage at a Moscow airport in February, just one week before the invasion of Ukraine.

The two-time Olympic champion had been travelling to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Premier League during the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) off-season, as she had done since 2014.

The United States considered Griner "wrongly detained" in Russia and secured a controversial prisoner swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout which allowed her to return home in December, although the exchange did not include US citizen Paul Whelan as originally offered by President Joe Biden.

Whelan remains imprisoned in Russia on espionage convictions.

Since returning to the US, Griner has re-joined the Phoenix Mercury on a one-year deal, the team with whom she was a WNBA champion in 2014 and an eight-time all-star.

At her first press conference appearance back on US soil, Griner pledged to campaign to help other Americans wrongfully detained and hostages abroad to return home.

Brittney Griner helped the US to women's basketball gold at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
Brittney Griner helped the US to women's basketball gold at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

She said only the prospect of featuring at Paris 2024 would lead her to travel overseas again for basketball.

"I’m never going overseas to play again unless I’m representing my country at the Olympics," she commented.

"If I make that team, that’d be the only time I would leave the US soil, and that’s just to represent the USA."

Griner helped the US to win women's Olympic basketball golds at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Women's Basketball World Cups in 2014 and 2018.

The US qualified for women's basketball at Paris 2024 by winning the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Australia last year while Griner was detained in Russia.

She missed out on selection for a US training camp earlier in the year, which featured 15 players.

A 12-strong US team for the Olympic tournament is set to be chosen next year.

Russia's women's basketball team have missed out on qualification for Paris 2024 having been suspended from Women's World Cup and EuroBasket qualification because of the war in Ukraine.

The men's basketball team are also set to be absent from the Olympics after FIBA adhered to the International Olympic Committee's recommendations which only allow individual Russian athletes to compete as neutrals under certain conditions.