A Russian court has extended to May the detention of a female American professional basketball star allegedly bust with drugs amid worsening relations between Moscow and Washington.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist, American basketball star Brittney Griner has been languishing in a Russian jail since customs officials searched her luggage and found vape cartridges containing hashish oil.
The 31-year-old Women’s National Basketball Association (W.N.B.A.) star who turns out for the Phoenix Mercury in the US faces up to 10 years in a Russian jail if convicted.
Griner was stopped and searched last month, on 17 February, at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow.
Griner had travelled to Russia in the W.N.B.A. off-season to play for the Russian team, UMMC Ekaterinburg.
Griner has played for the Russian team since 2014.
Tensions between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin could see Griner caught up in the ongoing diplomatic storm between the US and Russia over its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
On Thursday, reports from Russia said the detention of the American basketball player had been extended to 19 May.