WNBA player Brittney Griner met with officials from the United States Embassy in Moscow on Thursday, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Griner, a two-time Olympic basketball gold medalist, has been detained in Russia since February for possession of cannabis oil.
Embassy officials spoke with Griner via phone on October 18, and also spoke with another detained American, Paul Whalen on October 31. They have not visited Griner in person since early August.
The U.S. State Department said Griner was “doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.”
Her appeal of her nine-year prison sentence was denied last month. A Russian court called her sentence “fair.”
Whelan, 52, a Canadian-born former United States Marine, was detained in December 2018 on espionage charges. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in June 2020. A State Department spokesperson said his last in-person visit was June 16.
Jean-Pierre insisted the freeing of Griner and Whelan remains a top priority of the U.S. government.
“We made a significant offer to the Russians to resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful, wrongful detentions of Griner and Whelan,” she said.
“Despite the lack of good faith by the Russians, we will continue to follow up on our offer and propose alternative potential ways forward with Russia.”
Griner, who plays for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason, has apologized for her transgression and said the ordeal has affected her mental and psychic state, as well as that of her family.
She lead Team USA to the gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and again at the Tokyo 2020 Games.