Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges as her trial continued in Russian court on Thursday, admitting to bringing cannabis into the country but saying she had packed in a hurry and did not intend to break the law.
The Phoenix Mercury Center and Olympic medalist could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
It was Griner's second court appearance since her trial began in earnest last Friday. A judge had previously ordered her to be detained for the length of the trial,
which her lawyer has said could last up to two months and will likely involve several hearings by the prosecution before the defense gets its turn.
Another hearing is scheduled for next Thursday.
Griner was arrested on Feb. 17 — a week before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine
after authorities at Sheremetyevo International Airport allegedly found cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage.
She was traveling there because she plays for a Russian team during the U.S. offseason, which many WNBA players do to supplement their incomes.
Prosecutors allege that prior to her trip, Griner purchased two cartridges containing 0.252 grams and 0.45 grams of hash oil for personal use.
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