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Asian J Sports Med. 2012 September; 3(3): 209–213.
PMCID: PMC3445650

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia in an Elite Female Soccer Player; What Sports Medicine Clinicians Should Know about This?

Hooman Angoorani, MD,1,2 Zohreh Haratian, MD,1,2 and Farzin Halabchi, MD1,2,*

Abstract

Background

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) refers to a group of congenital conditions characterized by disordered cortisol synthesis. The correlation between CAH and sports performance has been less studied before and there is very limited information regarding the impacts of this congenital disease on sports performance. Probably, there are some limitations for patients who suffer from CAH in sports, but at the same time, they may enjoy some advantage due to the probable effect of endogenous hyperandrogenism on their exercise performance.

Case Presentation

The case is a 14 - year old girl with male phenotype who is a known case of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. She plays in the women's national soccer team of under 16. She has been in the first division league of indoor soccer for 4 years and was also selected in the preparation training camp of women's football team for Singapore's youth Olympic Games. Her illness and dependence on corticosteroid have caused some concerns for her participation in the international competitions of women. However, following consultations with the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Committee of games organization, she received TUE to use corticosteroid only within the games period. Despite all her problems, she is now playing in the Second Division League of indoor soccer.

Conclusions

A female adolescent with CAH may compete at the high level of outdoor and indoor soccer. However, there are many questions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of this congenital disorder and its treatment on sports related issues.

Keywords: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Doping, Gender Identity, Sports, Soccer, Therapeutic Use Exemption

Articles from Asian Journal of Sports Medicine are provided here courtesy of Kowsar Medical Institute