Star Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence, 2 Others Suspended For Failed Drug Test

On Christmas Eve Dabo Swinney announced a bit of a bombshell when he told the media that Dexter Lawrence along with two other Clemson players were currently suspended pending appeal for the Cotton Bowl due to a failed NCAA administered drug test.  The trio all tested positive for a banned substance but have appealed with their suspension pending the results of a test on their “B” sample this week leaving their status in doubt.

Lawrence is the only starter among the trio who are currently appealing their suspensions.  Reserve offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Braden Galloway are the other two players.

“We do have an issue that we are dealing with and I think the best thing is to just be transparent,” Swinney said Monday.  “On Thursday, Dan Radakovich (Clemson AD), was notified by the NCAA that we had three guys (where) there was an issue with their drug testing.”

The issue that Clemson is dealing with is all three players drug test samples tested positive for trace amounts of a substance called ostarine which is a banned “anabolic” agent with no approved FDA uses.  According to some quick research, it can be found in supplements without being listed in the ingredients.  Star Arizona basketball guard Allonzo Trier was suspended earlier this calendar year for having a trace amount of ostarine in his system as well.

Swinney was quick to defend his players and to lay out exactly where the process is with their appeals.

“I think the biggest thing is to make sure that everyone understands – I’ve had guys fail drug tests before. Usually when you say a guy fails a drug test people write their own stories and have their own innuendos and their own narratives and those types of things and a lot of times those things are accurate,” he said.

“But in this case I think it’s very important that the message is accurate and the truth is told because these are three great young men that I believe in and that I know, without a doubt, have not intentionally anything to jeopardize their opportunity or this team,” Swinney said confidently.  “I want to make that clear before I even give you their names because I know that’s the story.”

The failed test for each was their “A sample” or the first test.  When a test is appealed a “B sample” is also tested and that is where we are at now.  The players should find out the results for those tests Wednesday or Thursday.  Swinney went on to say that there is an appeals process after that but it wouldn’t help them this weekend.  Then he rather presumptuously said it might help for next week before realizing he should also say “or next year”.

Linebacker Is Biggest Puzzle for Notre Dame to Solve in 2019

If the “B sample” comes back positive for any or all of them, they will not be available for Saturday’s Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame.  Of three, Lawrence is obviously the most important to Clemson and really the only one whose status will really have an impact on the game.  Lawrence is a projected 1st round NFL Draft pick and is part of Clemson’s fearsome defensive line.  Should he not be available for the Cotton Bowl, the Tigers will be down one of their most disruptive interior linemen.

Ostarine appears to be one of those substances that is on the list of banned substances but also triggers false positives fairly regularly so there is still a good chance that Clemson has all three when the Cotton Bowl kicks off.  For now, Swinney said that they are preparing for these suspensions as those these players are injured until the results of the “B samples” comes back.  Either way, this is probably not the kind of distraction that Swinney was hoping for days before the Cotton Bowl.

Notre Dame Products You'll Love


  1. ndcrazymike 3 months ago

    IM sure CLEMSON will find a way to get back all 3 players for the COTTON BOWL! After all football comes first at CLEMSON, having a substance in your system that’s banned in the U.S. won’t deter Clemson from suiting up all 3 !!

    Reply Like Dislike
    1. Greg Kelly 3 months ago

      I’m getting sick and repulsed by Clemson and now ‘ Bama suspending their usual suspects. Both teams should be disqualified and Notre Dame play Oklahoma for NC and get it over with once and for all.

      Reply Like Dislike
  2. phgreek 3 months ago

    ND fan here…I Hope they all play. I can’t pass judgment on how they got that junk in their system. I will say if the substance is false positive frequently AND you can get it as an ingredient not listed in products, it makes no sense to punish people for traces. How hard is it to set NTE levels that line up with reality here? These kids have futures, and to sully their names on traces of stuff that may or may not be there, OR may be there through no intent is pretty much unforgivable…like a lot of things the NCAA does.

    Reply Like Dislike
    1. david 3 months ago

      So….Saul Goodman is an ND fan.

      Reply Like Dislike
  3. Greg Kelly 3 months ago

    Legal or otherwise, drugs can be very harmful or helpful. During my chemo treatments I was prescribed two prednisone daily. After completing the grueling chemo treatments I was allowed to quit. However, I still had to take one pill a day for a week. This was a low dosage. I was so fatigued for about a month after. It shuts down the adrenal gland and is now your new adrenaline. Luckily my natural adrenaline glands kicked back in. These things are nothing to be messed with. Take only with Doctor approval. No home medication with this stuff. I doubt if Ostarine is on “ right to try” list.

    Reply Like Dislike
    1. Bruce Gregory Curme 3 months ago

      To ban or not to ban; that is the question. I’m write here today to reassure you that the United States of America will get tough, dig in, and fight the war on drugs to the last Mexican civilian. Test them for everything, right?

      BGC ’77 ’82

      Reply Like Dislike

You may also like