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March 27, 1991

The Prescription and Proscription of Chorionic Gonadotropin-Reply

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

American Medical Association Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1991;265(12):1529. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460120043032

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In Reply. —  As pointed out by Drs Amelar and Dubin, chorionic gonadotropin is a glycoprotein, not a steroid. It is similar in structure to the other glycoprotein gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, and also resembles luteinizing hormone in its ability to stimulate testosterone production by the Leydig cells of the testis.Presumably, it is because of this androgenic activity that chorionic gonadotropin is used by athletes, although such practices sometimes defy logical explanation. Though the evidence that such use is widespread is unconvincing, there is concern that chorionic gonadotropin is used and abused in the same manner and for the same purpose as the anabolic-androgenic steroids. Therefore, chorionic gonadotropin has been placed on the list of banned substances by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the US Olympic Committee and has been included in state controlled substances laws such as that of New York State.The writers' comments