Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya left Tokyo for Austria on Wednesday after leaving the Polish embassy where she had sought refuge in the 2020 Summer Olympics host city.

Tsimanouskaya had been scheduled to board a flight for Warsaw, where the government has offered her a humanitarian visa after she had refused to board a flight home against her wishes on Sunday and sought diplomatic protection.

Instead, she departed on an Austrian Airlines flight scheduled to land in Vienna at 4.05 pm (3.05pm Irish time)

A member of the Belarusian community in touch with Tsimanouskaya said diplomats had changed her flight due to security concerns.

Tsimanouskaya had arrived in a police-escorted van at Narita airport east of the Japanese capital. She did not speak to several dozen waiting reporters as she went to a VIP area, escorted by several officials rolling her suitcases, and later to her gate.

The International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday it was expecting a report from the Belarusian team on Tsimanouskaya's case.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko's regime of intolerable "transnational repression" in the matter.

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Tsimanouskaya says she fears for her safety if she returns to Belarus, and claims her team attempted to force her onto a plane after she criticised her coaches.

Her husband Arseny Zdanevich told AFP he had fled Belarus and was hoping to join his wife "in the near future".

Tsimanouskaya, who is a 200 metres specialist and due to compete in heats in the event on Monday, criticised the Belarusian athletics federation after they tried to force her to run in a relay. She said that outburst had led to the attempt to forcibly send her home.

"I will not return to Belarus," she told Reuters at the time.

The incident has focussed attention on Belarus, where police have cracked down on dissent following a wave of protests triggered by an election last year which the opposition says was rigged to keep Lukashenko in power.

Belarusian authorities have characterised anti-government protesters as criminals or violent revolutionaries backed by the West, and described the actions of their own law enforcement agencies as appropriate and necessary.

Vitaly Shishov, a Belarusian activist living in exile in Ukraine, was found hanged in a park near his home in Kyiv early on Tuesday, and Ukrainian police launched a murder investigation. He led an organisation that helps Belarusians fleeing persecution.