ARLINGTON, Texas — There is a chance Clemson will not have All-American defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence when it plays Notre Dame Saturday in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
Swinney announced Lawrence, along with tight end Brandon Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella failed a mandatory drug test for the College Football Playoff. The three players tested positive for a steroid named Ostarine, which can be found in every day hair products or other every day items.
“We have to make sure everybody understands. It is important that the message is accurate, and the message is told,” Swinney said prior to practice Monday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “They are three great young men who I know have not done intentionally anything.
“The letter from the NCAA said they had a slither of ostarine. I have never heard of it, but we may all in this room have a trace of something in us. It comes from anything and they thought it was a joke when I called them in. It comes from hair products, crème, protein, something online, it could be anything.”
Swinney said there was just a trace of ostarine in the three players and that they have asked for a second test.
In August of 2017, the USADA issued a warning to athletes that ostarine, a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), is not approved for human consumption but has been the cause of numerous positive doping tests involving sports supplements.
According to the site called Natural Products Insider.com, the warning of ostarine is on the label and sometimes it is not. In its July 25, 2017 advisory, USADA reported a recent uptick in supplement contamination and supplement-related incidences involving ostarine.
The agency said it has logged 13 doping cases involving the use or possession of ostarine dating back to 2014.
“There have been 40-plus (cases) and some of them have been vindicated,” Swinney said. “We have to figure out if it’s even in the system. They have legal representation they have a B sample and we won’t know until Wednesday and Thursday.”
The three players have made the trip to Dallas and are allowed to practice with the team while they wait for the results of the B test.