Dennis Rodman Walks Back on Offer to Help Free Brittney Griner

Dennis Rodman Walks Back on Offer to Help Free Brittney Griner

Dennis Rodman is walking back on his offer to help free fellow basketball star, Brittney Griner.

According to ABC News, the former NBA player and infamous freelance diplomat is no longer going to Russia to aid in negotiations following officials from the State Department saying that his unauthorized efforts would "not be on behalf of the United States." This goes against Rodman's initial statements to NBC News last weekend, in which he claimed to have received "permission to go to Russia to help that girl."

But despite the sports legend and personal friend of Kim Jong Un taking credit for the release of American Kenneth Bae from a North Korean prison in 2014, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the US government didn't need Rodman's "help" this time around, especially seeing as how they believe that "anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder those release efforts.”

Back in February, Griner was detained at a Moscow airport after Russian customs officers allegedly found vape cartridges containing liquid with hash oil amongst her belongings. She later plead guilty to drug smuggling and possession charges in July, though she told the court that she had "no intent" to "break the law." The WBNA star was then convicted on the charges in August and is currently serving a nine-year sentence in Russian prison.

The US government has classified both Griner and another American detainee named Paul Whelan as "wrongfully detained," with officials currently trying to organize a prisoner swap amid the international relations mess created by the conflict stemming from Russia's unprovoked February invasion of Ukraine. If successful, the deal would see the US return convicted arms dealer, Viktor Bout, to Russia in exchange for both the two-time Olympic champion and Whelan.

Representatives for Griner have yet to comment on the development. In the meantime though, you can read ABC News' full report here.

Photo via Getty / Tim Nwachukwu