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Belarus athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya (C) at Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, outside Tokyo, before boarding her Vienna-bound flight on Aug. 4. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya left Japan on Wednesday, aboard a plane bound for Vienna after refusing national team orders to fly home amid concerns for her safety.

Driving the news: The 24-year-old Olympian had sought refuge at the Polish embassy in Tokyo, where she was granted a humanitarian visa. But she changed flights at the last minute and boarded an Austrian Airlines flight for Vienna, an airport official told reporters.

  • She had spent two nights in Poland's embassy before departing for Austria's capital.

The big picture: Tsimanouskaya refused national team orders to board a flight home after Belarus officials took her to Tokyo's Haneda airport Sunday following her criticism of Belarusian coaches.

  • She told AP earlier Tuesday that officials from her country made it clear that she "would definitely face some form of punishment" if she returned home.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 30, 2021 - World

U.S. drone strike targets suspected ISIS-K threat near Kabul airport

Smoke rises after an explosion in a Kabul neighborhood on Aug. 29. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. launched a drone strike on Sunday targeting a vehicle that presented an "imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul’s international airport, U.S. Central Command spokesperson Capt. Bill Urban said in a statement.

Of note: Afghan officials and witnesses told several news outlets that at least three children were killed in the drone strike. Urban said in a later statement he was "aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike" on the vehicle and officials were "still assessing" what happened.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.