A Russian court has sentenced US basketball player Brittney Griner to nine years prison on drugs charges.

The court found Griner guilty of narcotics possession and smuggling for bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia.

A Russian state prosecutor had requested nine-and-a-half years in prison for Griner, who said in her closing remarks that bringing the cartridges into Russia had been "an honest mistake".

She was also fined 1 million roubles (€15,652).

After the sentencing, Griner said she understood the sentence.

US President Joe Biden said Griner's prison sentence is "unacceptable" and called on Russia to release her immediately "so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates".

"My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan [ jailed on espionage charges] home safely as soon as possible," Mr Biden added.

Griner's defence team said it will appeal the verdict, adding that the court "completely ignored all the evidence of the defence, and most importantly, the guilty plea".

"The verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal," the team said in a statement.

Her hearing comes with tension soaring between Moscow and Washington over Russia's military intervention in Ukraine that has sparked international condemnation and a litany of Western sanctions.

Griner's trial has accelerated in recent days as the US and Russia discuss a potential prisoner swap that could involve the basketball star.

"I ask the court to find Griner guilty and sentence her to nine years and six months in prison," prosecutor Nikolay Vlasenko said, requesting a term just short of the maximum punishment of ten years.

He also requested a fine of one million rubles for the 31-year-old athlete, AFP heard in the court in the town of Khimki just outside Moscow.

Griner asked the court not to "end my life".

"I made an honest mistake and I hope that your ruling doesn't end my life here," she told the court.

Mr Vlasenko said Griner "deliberately" proceeded through the green corridor at customs and stated she had nothing to declare "in order to conceal" the substance.

Griner walked into the courtroom in handcuffs, escorted by several law enforcement officers and a police dog.

Brittney Griner arriving to a hearing at the Khimki Court last month

Standing inside a cage for defendants before the start of the hearing, she held up a photo of herself with teammates from the Russian club she plays for.

Her lawyer Maria Blagovolina told the court that Griner was "an icon for many people" and "was brave" to admit her guilt.

She added that the amount of substance brought in by the athlete was "just over" the allowed amount.

Ms Blagovolina had asked the court to acquit Griner or consider a more lenient sentence if she is found guilty.

The two-time Olympic basketball gold medallist and Women's NBA champion was detained in February, just days before Russia launched its military intervention in Ukraine.

She was detained when she came to Russia to play club basketball with UMMC Ekaterinburg during the US off-season - a common path for American stars seeking additional income.