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This article investigates distributed cooperative medium access control protocol design for multihop wireless networks. Cooperative communication has been proposed recently as an effective way to mitigate channel impairments. With cooperation, single-antenna mobile terminals in a multi-user environment share antennas from other mobiles to generate a virtual multiple-antenna system that achieves more reliable communication with a higher diversity gain. However, more mobiles conscribed for one communication inevitably induces complex medium access interactions, especially in multihop wireless ad hoc networks. To improve the network throughput and diversity gain simultaneously, we investigate the issues and challenges in designing an efficient MAC scheme for such networks. Furthermore, based on the IEEE 802.11 DCF, a cross-layer designed cooperative MAC protocol is proposed. The MAC scheme adapts to the channel condition and payload length.