Sports medicine pioneer dies

Associated Press

C. Harmon Brown, considered a pioneer in the fields of sports science and medicine, has died of cancer at 78.

Brown died on Tuesday, USA Track & Field said in a news release. He made his home in San Mateo, Calif., and was a professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

Brown was a longtime member of the medical and anti-doping commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations before stepping down in 2007. Trained as an endocrinologist, his lifelong passion was track and field. He coached at the club, high school, collegiate, national and international levels.

Brown was on the coaching staffs of several U.S. international teams from 1967 to 1986, including two Olympic and two Pan American teams. When he began coaching in 1962, women were not allowed to compete in track and field at the collegiate level.


He became an outspoken advocate for women athletes and conducted pioneering research on the effects of strenuous exercise on the female body, work that demonstrated the capabilities of women to compete in the sport.

"His contributions to our organization are immeasurable,"said USATF president Bill Roe, "and he is one of the people in our sport form whom the term ‘gentleman’ is an understatement."

A hurdler at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., Brown earned his medical degree at the George Washington School of Medicine in 1956.

In a news release, the IAAF called Brown "a pioneering energy in the field of sports medicine."

He was editor and co-author of the IAAF Medical Manual for Athletics and Road Running Competitions: A Practical Guide.

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