CNN  — 

The American basketball star who was arrested in Russia on allegations of drug smuggling was detained February 17, a US congressman’s office said Thursday, providing the most detailed public account yet of how long Brittney Griner has been in custody.

And US efforts to get Griner out of Russia are complicated by strained relations between the two countries – a deterioration exacerbated by Russia’s war with Ukraine, the lawmaker, US Rep. Colin Allred, told ESPN a day earlier.

“I do think that it’s really unusual that we’ve not been granted access to her from our embassy and our consular services,” Allred, D-Texas, told ESPN on Wednesday.

“The Russian criminal justice system is very different than ours, very opaque. We don’t have a lot of insight into where she is in that process right now, but she’s been held for three weeks now, and that’s extremely concerning,” Allred said.

News of Griner’s arrest broke in the US last weekend, with Russian media reporting she was detained at a Moscow airport on some unspecified day in February.

Allred’s office has been working with the US State Department and learned she was detained February 17, he told ESPN. His office confirmed that date to