British diver Tom Daley in China flight scare
British diver Thomas Daley pictured during the men's 10m platform preliminary round at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 10, 2012 - by Martin Bureau
"Just had to make an emergency landing in Irkutsk, Russia on the way back from Shanghai," Daley said in a post on photo-sharing website Instagram.
"Here's the pic of the fuel dump before landing," he added, with an image of a wing of the Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600 and fluid billowing out from under it.
The Olympic bronze medallist was flying back to London a day after competing in the Chinese city at the FINA Diving World Cup, in which he came fourth in the 10m platform event.
The airline said the plane was diverted "as a precautionary measure due to a technical issue detected inflight" and the fuel dump was standard procedure.
"The aircraft is on the ground and we are currently investigating the issue," Virgin said in a statement, adding safety was its top priority.
The plane is carrying 286 passengers and 15 crew.