Three Clemson football players, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, tight end Brandon Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella, have been suspended from the College Football Playoff Semifinal on Saturday against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl due to failed drug tests.
News began to surface on Monday that the players had tested positive for a banned substance, Ostarine, during NCAA drug testing. According to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) website, the substance is banned from athletic competition and public consumption, though is sometimes used to treat degenerative muscle diseases such as osteoporosis and cancer.
On Thursday, the NCAA confirmed that trace amounts of the banned substance had been found in second samples provided by the players.
The absence of Lawrence will be profoundly felt on the defensive line, as the Junior is tenth on the team’s defensive tackles leaderboard and sixth in tackles-for-loss. According to Tiger’s head coach Dabo Swinney, Albert Huggins will start in Lawrence’s place on Saturday.
If the Tigers do defeat the Fighting Irish on Saturday, Lawrence’s status for the College Football Championship on January 7th will rest on the result of an appeal that he will have to file along with the team.