Photo: Britney Griner pleads guilty to drug possession and smuggling, Russian media report

MOSCOW – Imprisoned US basketball star Britney Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday in drug possession and smuggling during her trial near Moscow, but said she had no intention of committing the crime, according to Russian news agencies.

The reports quoted Griner as saying through an interpreter at the court hearing that she acted unintentionally because she was packing in a hurry.

Griner’s trial began last week amid a growing chorus of calls for Washington to do more to secure her freedom nearly five months after her arrest.

Before Thursday’s hearing, Russian police escorted Griner, handcuffed and wearing a bright red T-shirt and sweatpants, into the courtroom past a crowd of journalists.

Sportsman was arrested in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after cannabis oil cans were allegedly found in her luggage. She faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of large-scale drug trafficking.

WNBA star and two-time Olympian Brittney Griner is escorted into the courtroom for a hearing.

Britney Griner returns to a Russian court on Thursday amid a growing chorus of calls for Washington to do more to secure her release, almost five months after her arrest on drug charges.

(Alexander Zemlyanichenko/Associated Press)

Britney Griner holds up a water bottle and photographs as she is escorted into the courtroom.

Britney Griner holds a water bottle and photographs as she is escorted to a courtroom in Khimki, near Moscow, on Thursday.

(Alexander Zemlyanichenko/Associated Press)

Britney Griner is escorted to the courtroom in Khimki near Moscow.

Britney Griner is escorted to the courtroom in Khimki near Moscow.

(Alexander Zemlyanichenko/Associated Press)

Griner has been in Russia for almost five months.

Griner has been in Russia for almost five months.

(Alexander Zemlyanichenko/Associated Press)

Brittney Griner takes to the court

Britney Griner enters a court in Khimki, Russia, for her trial on Thursday.

(Alexander Zemlyanichenko/Associated Press)

Griner is escorted into the courtroom

Britney Griner was detained at a Moscow airport in February.

(Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP)

Cherell Griner, wife of Britney Griner, speaks during a rally to support the release of Britney Griner.

Cherell Griner, Britney Griner’s wife, speaks during Wednesday’s rally in Phoenix in support of Griner’s release.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A supporter holds signs during a rally in Phoenix in support of the release of Britney Griner.

A supporter holds signs during a rally Wednesday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix in support of Britney Greener’s release.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Supporters pose with a mural of Britney Griner after the rally.

Supporters pose with a mural of Britney Griner after a rally at the Footprint Center in Phoenix in support of the athlete’s release.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Mercury players, coach and general manager attended a rally in support of Britney Greener's release.

Phoenix Mercury players, coach and general manager attended a rally on Wednesday calling for the release of Britney Griner.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Supporters hold signs with the inscription "Bring Britney Home" during a rally in support of the release of Britney Griner.

Supporters are sending a clear message at Wednesday’s rally in Phoenix.

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)