Wellington, Dec 3(ANI): An Air New Zealand promotion that insinuates disgraced Belarusian shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk has male genitalia has sparked an angry backlash on social media website Twitter.
The airline today launched its Christmas Cracker promotion, which gives people a chance to win prizes by opening a virtual Christmas cracker on the Grabaseat website.
Those who do not win a prize are offered a consolation joke. Today's joke is: "What large heavy ball was responsible for Valerie Adams' gold medal? The Belarusian's left testicle."
Several people took to social media website Twitter today to express their disgust at what they considered a bad taste dig at Ostapchuk, Stuff.co.nz reports.
Twitter user @Desdrata tweeted: "Wow, can't believe you guys thought that was something good to post online."
@johubris added: "am glad I won't be needing their services in the foreseeable future! #disgusted."
The complaints were followed by a response from the Grabaseat Twitter account that said, "Not everyone likes our xmas cracker jokes so tell us your tacky kiwi jokes and we'll add our favourites into the cracker."
Ostapchuk became the subject of scorn in this country after the London Olympics when she was stripped of her shot put gold medal for taking banned steroids, and she is currently serving a 12-month international ban imposed by her native Belarus.
The gold medal was subsequently awarded to New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams. (ANI)