Topics:  air new zealand, london olympics 2012

Air NZ's Ostapchuk joke 'unbelievably offensive'

AN online Christmas Cracker promotion has landed Air New Zealand in trouble, with some accusing the company of transphobia.

The controversial campaign, run through the airline's Grabaseat website, gave people the chance to win prizes and those who failed received a consolation joke instead.

One of these jokes read: "What large heavy ball was responsible for Valerie Adams' gold medal? The Belarusian's left testicle."

The joke is a reference to Nadzeya Ostapchuk being stripped of her Olympic gold medal earlier this year after testing positive for drugs.

Valerie Adams was then awarded the gold.

"This joke is unbelievably offensive, transphobic and just plain unnecessary. Really poor form," wrote one Twitter user.

Another said she would like to see an "immediate apology" and a donation to a Lesbian Bisexual Gay Transgender programme.

Instead of issuing an apology, Air New Zealand used its Grabaseat Twitter account to respond.

"Not everyone likes our xmas cracker jokes so tell us your tacky kiwi jokes & we'll add our favourites into the cracker."



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