A U.S. official from the embassy in Moscow has spoken to WNBA star Brittney Griner as she is being held by the Russian government.
The official was given consular access to Griner, who is being detained in Russia, accused of smuggling what Russian authorities said was a significant amount of a narcotic substance when she was arrested in February at an airport in Moscow, CNN reported.
She was arrested on Feb. 17, ESPN reported.
The substance was said to have been illegal vape cartridges that had hashish oil in them, The New York Times reported.
If convicted, Griner faces up to 10 years in prison, CNN reported.
The investigation continues and she has not yet received a trial date but her legal team has been able to visit with her several times a week since her arrest.
She is in pretrial detainment, which has been extended until May 19. It could be extended again as Russian prosecutors have up to a year, if not longer before they have to bring a person to trial, ESPN reported.
John Sullivan, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, met with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week and “demanded that the government of Russia follow international law and basic human decency to allow consular access to all U.S. citizen detainees in Russia, including those in pre-trial detention,” CNN reported.
The U.S. embassy said it had requested access to not only Griner but two other Americans being held in Russia “and have consistently and improperly been denied access for months.”
Russia state agency TASS said the U.S. consul had not visited despite Russia’s willingness to “create all conditions” to allow for the meeting, CNN reported.
U.S. officials were able to visit Griner on Tuesday and found her ‘in good condition.”
“We were able to check on her condition, we will continue to work very closely with her legal team, with her broader network, to see to it that she is treated fairly,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, according to CNN.