DALLAS, TX (WCSC) - Three Clemson players including star defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence could miss the Tigers National Semifinal game against Notre Dame at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday after Dabo Swinney said the trio failed an NCAA-mandated drug test last week.
Lawrence along with backup tight end Braden Galloway and backup center Zack Giella each failed the test the coach announced on Monday afternoon.
“Obviously, Dexter is a starter and a very, very significant player on our team. Even though Zach hasn’t played as much and Braden is a freshman, they’re still missing out on an opportunity that they have worked extremely hard for.” Swinney said.
The trio tested positive for Ostarine which is used for treatment of muscle wasting.
“These three players have no clue -- in fact, they thought it was a joke when I called them.” Swinney said on Monday. “They have no clue how this has gotten in their system. It could come from hair products. It could come from a cream. It could come from protein. It could come from a product that you order or buy online that you think there’s nothing wrong with it. It could be anything. Literally, it could be a drink -- something in a drink. It literally could be anything, as I have come to learn.”
There is an appeals process and a B sample that can be tested but the school won’t know the results from those processes until later in the week.
“But, from a team standpoint, we have to get our team ready to play football.” Swinney said. “We got to get our team ready to play our best four quarters of the season. That’s our goal. So we have to prepare as if it’s an injury and get the next guy ready. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do. So that’s -- I think it’s just best, again, to be transparent and honest. Because I don’t want there to be any speculation at all on what we’re dealing with.”