CLEMSON, S.C. — Two Clemson football players will miss the upcoming season after an appeal was denied for their positive test of a performance-enhancing drug. The NCAA issued its decision Friday.
Last December, tight end Braden Galloway, offensive lineman Zach Giella, and defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence were all suspended after the NCAA said they tested positive for a small amount of ostarine during a screening. Ostarine is used to help athletes get lean muscle mass.
Clemson appealed the decision, but all three players missed both the national semi-final game in the Cotton Bowl and the national championship against Clemson in January.
Lawrence was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in April, getting selected by the New York Giants.
Galloway and Giella were still at the school, but will now miss all of the 2019 season. Galloway and Giella's lawyer, Robert Airail, told the Greenville News that they players don't know how the drug got into their system, and that they'd passed screenings both before the December test and have passed screenings since then.
Clemson released a statement saying they were "disappointed" by the NCAA's decision, and said that these were the first positive tests in over 300 conducted on Clemson athletes since 2014.
"We are disappointed in the results of the appeal and continue to believe our student-athletes did not knowingly ingest any banned substances. The Athletic Department takes seriously its role in the education, testing and enforcement of supplement and performance-enhancing substances. We will continue to adhere to best practices with respect to supplement use by student-athletes and support the position of the NCAA in its testing for PEDs."
"Student-athletes at Clemson have taken 329 tests for PEDs since 2014, and all results have been negative except for the trace amounts found during the December 2018 tests. The two current student-athletes were tested prior to the December test, including in April and October of 2018 and again in January and February of 2019, and results came back negative for PEDs. Clemson maintains a rigorous education and testing program, and all supplements are reviewed with Clemson Athletics Nutrition and Sports Medicine as well as the Clemson Compliance Office prior to approval for usage to ensure that no banned substances are included in the products."
"In compliance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, Clemson is not authorized to discuss further details of the appeal. Any further questions regarding the appeal should be directed to the student-athletes’ representation."