Brittney Griner's lawyers tell Russian court she was prescribed medical cannabis by doctor

Moscow, Russia - WNBA star Brittney Griner's lawyers on Friday presented the Russian court with a doctor's letter recommending her use of cannabis to treat pain.

US WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner talks to her lawyers from inside a defendants' cell during a hearing at the Khimki Court in Khimki outside Moscow.
US WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner talks to her lawyers from inside a defendants' cell during a hearing at the Khimki Court in Khimki outside Moscow.  © NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

The legal team representing Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner, who is jailed in Russia on drug charges, presented the court with doctor's documents confirming the elite athlete was prescribed cannabis to treat pain.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested at a Moscow airport in February after vape canisters containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage. If convicted, Griner can face up to 10 years in prison for transportation of drugs.

Last week in court, Griner pleaded guilty to the charges against her, acknowledging possession of the canisters.

Simone Biles struts her stuff at Olympic trials to earn comeback spot on Team USA
Athletes Simone Biles struts her stuff at Olympic trials to earn comeback spot on Team USA

But Griner said she had no criminal intent and claimed the canisters' presence was due to rushed packing.

In Russia's judicial system, admitting guilt doesn't automatically end a trial.

Griner's lawyers focus on personal statements

Since Griner's guilty plea, her court sessions have focused on in-person and written testimonies to her good character and athletic bravery.

"The defense today provided written evidence, including character materials, medical documents and tax returns," Griner's lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, told Reuters reporters.

"Among the medical documents is a doctor's note for the substance that Brittney Griner inadvertently left among her belongings when crossing the border," she said.

The defense on Friday also submitted tests she underwent as part of an anti-doping check, which didn't detect any prohibited substances in her system.

The next hearing in Griner's case is scheduled for July 26.

Cover photo: NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP

More on Athletes: