It's pretty much common knowledge that gyms are terrific breeding grounds for all kinds of germs. Mats, weights, steps, showers, saunas, and steam rooms -- all of these are high traffic items and areas which probably get sanitized infrequently at best, and never at worst.
This is hardly news, though. What is news, however, is that MRSA, a drug-resistant strain of staph, is on the rise. Doctors are seeing more and more of this kind of staph infection in schools, hospitals and, presumably, gyms.
There's no need to describe the delights that MRSA brings. Suffice it to say you don't want it. The advice from health officials? Sanitize and keep sanitary. That means laying towels down on mats, spraying down machinery with disinfectant (which NYSC now provides), wearing flip-flops in the shower, and frequently washing hands.