American basketball star Brittney Griner’s lawyer said on Friday that her pre-trial detention in Russia had been extended for a month.
Griner’s attorney, Alexander Boikov, told The Associated Press he believed the relatively short extension of detention indicated the case would soon come to trial.
Griner, one of the WNBA’s biggest stars, has been detained in Russia since arriving at Moscow airport in mid-February.
Russian authorities said a search of his luggage revealed vaping cartridges allegedly containing cannabis oil, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
She had arrived in Russia to play professional basketball during the WNBA offseason.
“I want to take a moment to reiterate the WNBA’s support for Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said last month.
She added, “Know that getting her home safely continues to be our top priority and while we face an extraordinarily complex challenge, there is strength in the community, especially the WNBA.”
The Biden administration says Griner, 31, is being wrongfully detained. The WNBA and US officials worked on his release, with no visible progress.