Clemson’s All-American defensive tackle responds to testing positive for banned substance
ARLINGTON, Texas — When Dabo Swinney first told Dexter Lawrence he failed the NCAA’s mandatory drug test for the College Football Playoff last week for a banned substance, Clemson’s defensive tackle was in shock.
“I was looking at my phone like, ‘are you crazy! What is wrong with you to be joking about something like that?’ Then he told me I tested positive for something I have never heard of before,” the All-American said Thursday during media day for the Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium.
Lawrence, along with freshman tight end Braden Galloway and reserve offensive tackle Zach Giella, failed a mandatory drug test by the NCAA. The three players tested positive for a banned substance named Ostarine, a PED, which can be found in every day products.
“Honestly, I stick to a strict routine and nothing else has changed. I am confused. I am mind boggled,” Lawrence said.
Clemson, who plays Notre Dame in Saturday’s Cotton Bowl Classic, is hopeful it will get the results from Lawrence’s second test on Thursday and that all three players will be cleared to play. As for Lawrence he is hopeful he will still be able to play on Saturday, but if not, he is going to be okay.
“Right now, I am at piece. I have no control on what the B sample result will be,” he said. “I just know I am here to support my teammates and just try to be a leader. I feel like I am injured and just helping the mentality of the whole team be better.”
Lawrence said he is not the type of guy to do a selfish act like that and take a banned substance.
“I have too much pride. I love this team too much to even think about putting a substance like that in my body,” he said. “I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know how it get there. I was raised different. If I did do it, I would own up to it.
“I honestly do not know where it came from or where I got it. It is just there and there is nothing I can really do about it right now.”
As the Cotton Bowl approaches, Lawrence says he is just trying to stay positive and be there for his teammates.
“I have been keeping my own mental right,” the defensive tackle said. “That is kind of why I am at piece right now. The support and the carrying from this team has helped a lot. They all have my back and I want to show them that I have their back as well.
“If I can’t play, I am going to have to be a good coach for them like Coach (Todd) Bates has been teaching me all week.”