Because the U.S. basketball superstar Brittney Griner gave the impression in a Russian court docket, the Kremlin denied on Friday that the drug fees in opposition to her had been politically motivated.

Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, informed journalists at a typical information convention that “the well-known athlete used to be detained with unlawful medication that contained narcotic elements.”

“Best the court docket can move a verdict,” he mentioned. Mr. Peskov’s feedback got here as Ms. Griner used to be showing in a court docket outdoor Moscow for the primary listening to in her case. The drug fees that she faces elevate a sentence of as much as 10 years at a penal colony.

Ms. Griner used to be detained on Feb. 17 in a Moscow airport. Russian officers mentioned that they had discovered vape cartridges bearing lines of hash oil in her baggage when she handed via a safety checkpoint.

Within the court docket on Friday, the prosecutor claimed that Ms. Griner used to be “mindful sufficient” that transporting narcotics into Russia used to be forbidden, TASS, a Russian information company, reported. In reaction, Ms. Griner mentioned that she understood the fees however would reply to them later, in keeping with TASS.

Her detention comes at a annoying second, with Moscow and Washington at loggerheads over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The case in opposition to her has raised fears that Moscow would possibly use Ms. Griner’s destiny as bargaining chip in negotiations over the discharge of high-profile Russians held in American prisons.

The Russian government have denied intending to make use of Ms. Griner in any long term exchanges, urging endurance for the court docket to ship its verdict.

Ms. Griner’s attorney has mentioned that the trial may just take as much as two months.

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