Chiswick Doctor Beijing Bound

Michael Irani appointed as medical official by International Olympic Committee

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Consultant Rheumatologist Dr Michael Irani has been invited by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and International Olympic Committee (IOC), to attend the games in China as an official Doctor.

Dr Irani, who lives in Chiswick, said, "It is a real privilege to have been asked by the IWF and IOC to be an official doctor at the games in Beijing. My work over the past 23 years in the NHS has provided me with the experience in musculoskeletal conditions and science required to provide these world class athletes and their managers with the advice they need to ensure their weightlifting is safe and within the rules of the Olympics."

Dr Irani has been a medical officer at the Olympic Games since the games in '84 in Los Angeles. In Beijing he will be looking after athletes from many nations.

He said, "Weightlifting is a very safe sport but because the weights being lifted are tremendous if things go wrong, they go very wrong. My role in Beijing will include training the Chinese support workers and paramedics how to handle things if there is a serious problem and also providing health education for the weightlifters and their managers about the policies of the IWF and IOC on drugs and supplements. With the development of new technologies it is increasingly difficult for any athlete to beat the tests which are available for the 2008 Olympics."

"Working at the games helps with my work as a rheumatologist. I get to see what the body can and more importantly, can't do in people whose physiques are honed for a specific task - lifting huge weights. This helps with improving the care techniques for many of my patients in my normal working life."

He will be joining his colleague Susan Scott a cardiac physiologist who will be running in the 1500m.

August 5, 2008