WNBA star Brittney Griner has had her detention in a Russian prison extended for the third time by a court in the country.
The American basketball player will now remain detained in Russia until at least July 2, according to reports from Moscow.
Ms Griner, 31, has been behind bars for drug trafficking since February 17, and the US State Department has called for her immediate release.
But the Moscow Region’s Khimki District Court extended Ms Griner’s detention for the third time, according to a report by the state-run Tass news agency on Tuesday.
He also quoted a Russian official as saying the Kremlin would not consider Griner in a prison swap “until a judicial investigation into his case is complete.”
The two-time Olympic gold medalist was detained at a Moscow airport and is accused of carrying cloak cartridges containing cannabis oil.
Authorities say she is charged with “trafficking in large quantities of narcotics” and faces a prison term of up to 10 years if convicted.
“Our position for some time on this has been very clear: Brittney Griner should not be detained. She should not be detained for one more day,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday. .
“This case is problematic from the ground up. This is precisely why we called Brittney Griner an illegal inmate. This is precisely why we are doing everything in our power to secure and secure her speedy release from detention in Russia.
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Post expires at 4:53pm on Saturday June 25th, 2022