Wellington: A New Zealand weightlifter has left the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea after offending locals with social media posts suggesting they were cannibals, a PNG sports official said Tuesday.
New Zealand officials had distanced themselves from the athlete, Douglas Sekone-Fraser, PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko told Port Moresby`s National newspaper.
"It was their decision to send him home... after social media got hold of his comments about PNG being a country of cannibals," he said.
New Zealand media reported that Sekone-Fraser`s two offending posts appeared on Instagram over the weekend showing pictures of traditional PNG dancers and the opening ceremony with the hashtag #cannibals.
They have since been deleted.
New Zealand Olympic Committee spokeswoman Ashley Abbott said that the weightlifter had apologised for the inappropriate comments.
"We took it very seriously. We`ve formally and unreservedly apologised to the host nation and other competitors at the Pacific Games," she said.
The Pacific Games are a multi-sport event held every four years.
The event is being hosted in PNG, a sprawling nation where black magic, sorcery and cannibalism have been known to occur.