FACT CHECK: Did CNN Report The Russians Gave Brittney Griner A DNA Test To Determine Her Gender?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims CNN reported that Russian officials ordered professional women’s basketball player Brittney Griner to undergo a DNA test to determine her gender.

Verdict: False

The image is digitally fabricated. A spokesperson for CNN denied that the network aired such a story about Griner.

Fact Check:

Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on Aug. 4 for drug trafficking after being found with less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport, according to CNN. The U.S. is reportedly considering a prisoner swap with Russia that could see Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan released in exchange for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is currently imprisoned in the U.S., ABC News reported.

The Facebook image appears to show a screen grab of a CNN broadcast about Griner allegedly receiving a DNA test to determine which Russian prison she would go to. The image shows a CNN anchor alongside an image of Griner being led away in handcuffs. “DNA test ordered by officials to determine male or female prison,” reads a chyron visible at the bottom of the photo.

“CNN is reporting that Brittney Griner was subjected to a DNA test to determine if she will go to an all male prison or she will go to an all female prison in Russia,” reads part of the image’s caption.

The post is digitally fabricated. No such report appears on CNN’s official website or its verified social media accounts. Check Your Fact also found no credible news reports to suggest such a segment ever aired on the network.

A reverse image search reveals a template featuring the photo of the anchor has been used to generate a variety of satirical reports in the past. (RELATED: Did CNN Air This Chyron About Putin Waiting To Invade Ukraine Until Biden Sends Weapons ‘For Russia To Capture’?)

“This post is fabricated,” said Bridget Leininger, a spokesperson, in an email to Check Your Fact.

Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim in June that used the same image to suggest the network reported on Arizona executing convicted child molesters in “a holocaust-like gas chamber.”

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter
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