US basketball player Britney Greener was tried on Friday in Russia on drug charges, highlighting that relations between Moscow and Washington have already deteriorated, with her face up to 10 You may be in prison for years.
US-based Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) star player Griner was detained at Sheremetievo Airport in Moscow on February 17, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, with the West. Unleashed a wide range of conflicts.
Russian officials said a 31-year-old woman had an arc cartridge containing hash oil, an illegal substance in the country. She was charged with smuggling a large amount of medicine. This is a crime that can go into prison for up to 10 years.
US officials and a number of athletes are calling for the release of the greener known in the basketball world, the "BG". They say she has been illegally detained and she should be returned to her family in the United States immediately.
Grinner's detention also raised concerns that Moscow could use two Olympic gold medalists to negotiate the release of a prominent Russian under US control.
The US government has warned citizens of her trip to Russia in the light of "potential harassment of US citizens by Russian government security officials."
Kremlin said Grinner denied that she had been held hostage in a conflict with Russia's United States for violating Russian law.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that "illegal detention" of Griner and other Americans abroad is "not a high priority."
Greener is the heart of WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and is a seven-time WNBA All-Star.
For many years, Greener played for UMMC Ekaterimburg in Russia during the WNBA off-season. As some other US players have offered favorable deals by the Russian Women's Basketball Premier League.
Grinner's detention, coupled with Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, prompted several foreign players to leave the Russian League. (Report by Reuters, edited by Alex Richardson)