Sports clubs are dismissing a study that suggests sponsorship from alcohol companies contributes to problem drinking by players.
An Otago University study says half of its respondents received alcohol sponsorship - and drank more heavily than those who did not.
But sports clubs say that is not the case.
The Marist/Saint Pats Rugby Club in Wellington says sponsorship has little bearing on its players' drinking habits.
The Dunedin Rugby Football Club says drinking is a choice for its players and sponsorship does not promote consumption.
The study recommends that sports organisations should start considering the health and ethical risks of accepting sponsorship.