Mon, September 23, 2013

Doctor: Avoid handshakes at Olympics

By QMI Agency

The British Olympic Association's top doc has caused a stir for suggesting athletes should avoid handshakes at the London Olympics.

At a recent news conference, chief medical officer Ian McCurdie said avoiding handshakes is a good idea to curb the risk of catching a bug.

"I think, within reason, yes. I think that's not such a bad thing to advise," he said.

"The difficulty is when you have got some reception and you have got a line of 20 people that you have never met before and you've got to shake hands with."

McCurdie suggested that bowing like the Japanese, rather than handshaking, may be a solution.

Athletic associations in the U.S., Australia and other countries have rejected the advice.

British Olympic rower Zac Purchase tweeted avoiding handshakes is "pointless unless u r going to run around with disinfectant 4 every surface you come into contact with."

But a spokesman with the association has clarified the comments by saying there's no policy of not shaking hands for hygiene reasons.

"We are simply reminding athletes to take common-sense measures, such as washing their hands and using hand foam, to reduce the risk of catching a bug.

"It's the same type of advice many employers give to their employees."