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In this paper, we analyze the coexistence of a primary and a secondary (cognitive) network when both networks use the IEEE 802.11 based distributed coordination function for medium access control. Specifically, we consider the problem of channel capture by a secondary network that uses spectrum sensing to determine the availability of the channel, and its impact on the primary throughput. We integrate the notion of transmission slots in Bianchi's Markov model with the physical time slots, to derive the transmission probability of the secondary network as a function of its scan duration. This is used to obtain analytical expressions for the throughput achievable by the primary and secondary networks. Our analysis considers both saturated and unsaturated networks. By performing a numerical search, the secondary network parameters are selected to maximize its throughput for a given level of protection of the primary network throughput. The theoretical expressions are validated using extensive simulations carried out in the Network Simulator 2. Our results provide critical insights into the performance and robustness of different schemes for medium access by the secondary network. In particular, we find that the channel captures by the secondary network does not significantly impact the primary throughput, and that simply increasing the secondary contention window size is only marginally inferior to silent-period based methods in terms of its throughput performance.