A viral claim suggesting that WNBA star Brittney Griner has been ordered to undergo a gender DNA test by the Russian authorities is found to be fabricated. The 31-year-old US player has been ordered to serve nine years sentence by a Russian court.
The WNBA superstar was arrested in February after vape cartridges containing hashish oil was found in her luggage at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.
How Did the Rumor Start?
In its verdict, passed last week, the Russian court maintained that Griner committed the crime "deliberately," even as she countered the allegations claiming the possession of banned cannabis vape oil to be an "honest mistake."
However, what started the hoax about Griner being ordered to under a DNA test for gender was s fabricated CNN screenshot. The picture shows a CNN chyron which reads: "DNA test ordered by officials to determine male or female prison." The screenshot also carries an image of the basketball star being led in the prison by Russian guards.
The fake report was soon shared by several users on social media. "This should be fun... The prison authorities of the Russian Federation have announced that a DNA test will be conducted on the convicted offender Brittney Griner to determine the correct facilities where the criminal is to serve the term of incarceration," tweeted a user.
"Brittney Griner, a 31 yr old Black American woman Age we agree with, skin color we agree with, but woman? Not so fast. Russians knew Lorber is a woman, Russians need a DNA test for Griner, maybe Woman's basketball in the US needs to be renamed," read another tweet.
"When Russia puts @brittneygriner in a male prison after the DNA test, Will she still be considered a lesbian?" questioned a user.
Here's the Truth
Debunking the claims doing rounds, Reuters Fact Check reported that it was a fabricated image and CNN never aired this news. In a communique to the outlet, Emily Kuhn, senior director of communications at CNN Digital Worldwide said, "This is a fabricated image and did not ever air on CNN."
The fact checking website further claimed that the text in the chyron doesn't isn't similar to the fonts used by CNN.
Speaking about he body shaming issues which she has faced in the past, Griner who was part of the photoshoot for ESPN Magazine's "Body Issue" in 2015 had said, "I've heard, 'Oh, she's not a female, she's a male.' I've been told, 'Oh, she's tucking stuff.' They thought I was tucking.
"Let me show that I embrace the flatness! I just want people to see somebody who embraces being naked, embraces everything about them being different," said the two-time Olympic champion