A lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner at her drug possession trial has given a Russian court a letter from a U.S. doctor recommending she use cannabis to treat pain.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and standout for the Phoenix Mercury was arrested at a Moscow airport in February after customs officials said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Last week, Griner pleaded guilty and acknowledged possessing the canisters but said she had no criminal intent. She said they were in her luggage because she packed hastily in her return to Russia to play for the UMMC Ekaterinburg basketball team during the WNBA’s offseason.
U.S. officials said they have been working toward Griner’s release. Last week, President Joe Biden held a phone call with Griner's wife.
The White House added it is pursuing “every avenue to bring Brittney home.” Biden directed National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to remain in contact with Cherelle Griner.
The 31-year-old has been one of the league’s most prolific stars since her 2013 professional debut. She is a seven-time All-Star and consistently one of the WNBA’s top scorers.