Megan Rapinoe has called on fellow athletes to do more to ensure Brittney Griner's release ©Getty Images

The United States' Megan Rapinoe and Billie Jean King have called for Brittney Griner (BG) to be released and urged fellow athletes to do more to support the double Olympic champion.

Basketball player Griner was arrested in Russia in February after authorities found cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage and has been detained in the country ever since.

"For me, the most striking thing is that BG's not here," said Rapinoe at the Excellence in Sports Performance Years Awards (ESPY Awards)

"BG deserves to be free, she's being held as a political prisoner, obviously.

"Like what are we doing here dressed up like we are when our sister is detained abroad?

"We haven't done enough, none of us.

"We can do more, we can support her more, and just let her know that we love her so much.

"Every time we say it in interviews, it puts pressure on everybody.

"It puts pressure on the administration, it puts pressure on Russia, it puts pressure on Putin, it puts pressure on everyone, and it lets BG know also above everything that we love her and that we miss her and that we're thinking about her all the time."

Griner has pleaded guilty in court and acknowledged possessing the canisters but said she had no criminal intent.

"First, bring BG home," said former tennis player King.

"Gotta do that."

Griner's team-mate from the Tokyo 2020 gold medal-winning US team Skylar Diggins-Smith also brought attention to the case.

"It's been 153 nights now that BG has been wrongfully detained thousands of miles away from home, away from her family, away from her friends, away from her team," Diggins-Smith said.

"All throughout that time, we've kept her in our thoughts and in our hearts even though we know that ain't nearly enough to bring her home, y'all."