Olympic chief: 'Don't shake hands'

Olympic rings
© PA Photos
The British Olympic Association's chief medical officer warns athletes against unnecessary handshaking ahead of London 2012, because of the risk of transmitting of bugs and illness.

Team GB athletes have been warned to avoid shaking hands at this year's London Games in order to reduce the transmission of bugs and illness.

The British Olympic Association's chief medical officer Dr Ian McCurdie believes that the Games' "quite stressful environment" means that competitors are particularly at risk and handshakes should be avoided "within reason".

"The difficulty is when you have got some reception and you have got a line of about 20 people you have never met before who you have got to shake hands with," said McCurdie.

"At an Olympic Games or any major event the performance impact of becoming ill or even feeling a little bit ill can be significant."

The opening ceremony for the Games takes place on July 27.

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