Kaela Davis called Brittney Griner's detention "frustrating" ©Getty Images

Players from the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team Phoenix Mercury have expressed their frustration over the ongoing detention of their team-mate and two-time Olympic champion Brittney Griner in Russia, saying it has made the season difficult as a result.

Forward Kaela Davis said it was difficult to watch Griner's detention, especially as the team was unable to support her release.

"You can't control this BG situation and I think that’s the most frustrating part," said Davis.

"We want to do something, but there's nothing we can do and at the same time we still have practices and games. 

"It's frustrating."

Earlier this month Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug possession charges after entering the country with vape canisters containing cannabis oil.

She was heading to Russia to play in their domestic league with UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA off-season, as a means to supplement her income as a professional player.

Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in prison ©Getty Images
Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in prison ©Getty Images

Griner was arrested on February 17, a week before Russia invaded Ukraine, which has made diplomatic efforts for the American's release more difficult.

On top of this, Mercury released one of its key players and former WNBA MVP Tina Charles mid-season, WNBA all-time scoring leader Diana Taurasi picked up a quadriceps injury, and Skylar Diggins-Smith - who had a tumultuous season with public clashes with her coach Vanessa Nygaard and Taurasi - missed the end of the season due to personal reasons.

Shey Peddy then ruptured her Achilles in game one of the playoffs, where the Mercury lost after scraping into the top eight qualifying positions.

"This season, I don't think there's a sports team that has endured everything that we endured as the Phoenix Mercury, and it's been completely exhausting," added Mercury guard Sophie Cunningham.

Griner is currently appealing her nine-year sentence.