Wellington - An online Air New Zealand budget fare promotion for Christmas that insinuated a disgraced Belarusian shot putter has male genitalia backfired, according to a news report.

Nadzeya Ostapchuk was disqualified as a drug cheat after winning the gold medal at the London Olympics, with the title going to New Zealand runner-up Valerie Adams.

The flag carrier's Grabaseat website “Christmas Cracker” promotion offered a consolation joke to people who failed to win a prize.

One of the gags was: “What large heavy ball was responsible for Valerie Adams' gold medal?” Answer: “The Belarusian's left testicle.”

Several people took to Twitter to express their disgust, the Stuff news website reported.

“Wow, can't believe you guys thought that was something good to post online,” one said. Another signed Disgusted added, “Am glad I won't be needing their services in the foreseeable future!”

The Grabaseat Twitter account responded, “Not everyone likes our Xmas cracker jokes so tell us your tacky kiwi jokes & we'll add our favourites into the cracker.” - Sapa-dpa