The drug possession trial for WNBA star Brittney Griner resumed on Friday with her lawyer presenting evidence from a physician who suggested she use the cannabis oil that landed her behind bars in Russia.
According to AP, Griner’s attorney shared with the Russian court a U.S. doctor’s letter recommending the athlete use medical cannabis to treat pain.
“The attending physician gave Brittney recommendations for the use of medical cannabis,” said her lawyer, Maria Blagovolina. “The permission was issued on behalf of the Arizona Department of Health.”
The defense on Friday also reportedly submitted tests she underwent as part of an anti-doping check. The tests didn’t detect prohibited substances in her system, reports say.
Authorities arrested Griner at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February after customs officials said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. The two-time Olympic gold medalist faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of transporting drugs.
Brittney Griner Packed Cannabis Canisters By Mistake, She Says
Last week, Griner pleaded guilty to possessing the substance, which is illegal in Russia, but said she had no criminal intent behind it.
In Russia’s judicial system, admitting guilt doesn’t automatically end a trial. Since that plea, her court sessions have focused on in-person and written testimony about her good character and athletic prowess.
The 31-year-old says the cannabis oil canisters were in her luggage because she packed them hastily. She was returning to Russia to play for the UMMC Ekaterinburg basketball team. She plays for the Russian squad during the WNBA’s offseason.
Russian Basketball Team Captain Testifies For Brittney
The director and team captain of UMMC Ektaerinburg also testified on her behalf on Thursday. U.S. Embassy charge d’affaires Elizabeth Rood acknowledged the character testimony on Brittney’s behalf outside the courthouse in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, where the airport is located.
“In the hearings yesterday and today what became very clear is the tremendous amount of respect and admiration both in the United States and here in Russia, where Miss Griner has been playing basketball for seven years, not only for her professional achievements but for her character and integrity.”
Griner’s next court hearing was scheduled for July 26.