A US official has met with WNBA star Brittney Griner for the second time since her initial detainment in Russia.
In February, the American basketball star was detained after she was accused of carrying hashish oil in her luggage.
However, the news wasn’t released by the Russian Federal Customs Service until three weeks after Griner’s arrest.
“As a US citizen was passing through the green channel at Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo Customs canine department detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage,” customs officials said.
Since the release of their statement, US officials have been barred from seeing Griner due to Russian authorities deeming the communication as “unacceptable”.
However, during Griner’s 13 May recent pre-trial court appearance – which extended her detainment by one month – a consular officer was finally given access to the beloved athlete for a few moments.
During a press conference in Washington D.C., State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Griner is “doing as well as can be expected under what can only be described as exceedingly difficult circumstances.”
According to a new report from ESPN, the young athlete met with another consular officer on 19 May.
In a recent press conference, Price reiterated that Griner was “continuing to do well as could be” under the “challenging circumstances.”
“But again, our message is a clear and simple one – we continue to insist that Russia allow consistent and timely consular access to all US citizen detainees,” he continued.
“One-off visits are not sufficient, and we will continue to call on Moscow to uphold its commitments under the Vienna Convention for consistent and timely access.”
The news of Griner’s consular visit comes a couple of weeks after the US reclassified her as “wrongfully detained”.
“The welfare and safety of US citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the US government,” the State Department said via ESPN.
“The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained US citizen Brittney Griner.
“… The US government will continue to undertake efforts to provide appropriate support to Ms Griner.”