Zeldin, coaches to meet on MRSA bill

A referee cleans the mat during a match A referee cleans the mat during a match during the NYS Wrestling tournament in Albany, N.Y. in this undated photo. Photo Credit: Pat Orr Photography

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A finalized draft of the legislation that will look to regulate cleanliness practices in high school sports and try to limit the spread of bacterial infections such as MRSA is expected to be presented Friday to about a dozen local wrestling coaches, according to a spokesman for State Sen. Lee Zeldin.

"By tomorrow, we're hoping to have a plan agreed upon by everyone," spokesman Chris Molluso said. The event, which is not open to the public, will be held at Hauppauge High School and will also be attended by Rep. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), who is co-sponsoring the bill in the Assembly.

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This is the second such meeting held by Zeldin (R-Shirley), who is drafting the legislation. In April, Zeldin met with more than a dozen Suffolk wrestling coaches and officials in response to Hauppauge wrestler Nick Mauriello's bout with MRSA and a near-deadly resultant infection earlier in the year.

During that meeting, Zeldin said the planned legislation would likely mandate that wrestling mats be cleaned before practice and meets and after matches and that every school holding a tournament have ample and functioning shower facilities. Zeldin said that the bill would also have an educational component -- ensuring that parents, coaches, referees, and physicians are informed about the dangers of bacterial infections such as MRSA, ringworm and impetigo.

In May, Zeldin and Englebright met with Nina Van Erk, president of the state public high school athletic association. The bill is expected to be introduced in the current legislative session, which ends in June.

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