Let me get this straight.
If a major university makes up a class and hands out degrees to student-athletes for nearly two decades, there is no ramifications for that said school at all, correct?
The FBI discovers and has evidence that several college basketball coaches and players accepted bribes from major shoe companies. Yet none of those schools were punished for any major recruiting violations, correct? I don’t think any investigations into the allegations has even begun, right?
So, when a drug test comes back that “a trace amount” of a performance enhancing drug (PED) was found in two players’ system and the two players prove the PED was not intentionally administered into their system, the book is figuratively thrown at them. That is correct, right?
The three examples above show the inconsistencies of the NCAA and how it rules over college athletics.
On Friday, the NCAA denied the appeals of Clemson tight end Braden Galloway and Zach Giella for a failed PED test in December of 2018.
Why I am so bent out of shape about this decision? Well, the facts prove these two young men did nothing wrong and their suspensions should have been dropped. They are both being punished for doing nothing wrong.
They are both suspended for the entire 2019 regular season. They will lose a year of eligibility, precious time for any student athlete, but especially for a football player.
Football players are only guaranteed the opportunity to play in 12 games a year, and the NCAA has just taken them away from Galloway and Giella.
It is an even harsher punishment for Giella, who is a redshirt senior. It means his eligibility is done.
Both student-athletes repeatedly have stated they have no knowledge of how Ostarine, a PED, entered their bodies. The imposed sanctions were the result of a trace amount of Ostarine being detected in both students’ December 2018 NCAA drug tests.
According to Galloway’ and Giella’s lawyer, who released a written statement on Friday, players’ assertions were confirmed by a polygraph examination taken by each. Both student-athletes had negative test results for prohibited substances in multiple urine drug screens in April and October of 2018, just before their positive December 2018 test, and again in both January and February of 2019, just after the December positive test.
Their representative, Robert Ariail, points out in the players’ statement that Ostarine is a known contaminant of legitimate products. As part of the appeal, the student-athletes presented statements from scientific experts which confirmed that the very low levels detected in December 2018 were indicative of contamination of legitimate products.
A medical review committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently recommended that in cases such as this, no positive findings be made. Similarly, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has, in recent months, lifted the previously imposed suspensions against five athletes who tested positive for trace levels of Ostarine.
The WADA report also noted that in many cases, the identification of the contaminated product is not possible. The students’ scientific expert stated that Ostarine can remain in one’s system for an indeterminate amount of time, making it even more difficult to pinpoint the source of contamination.
In the December 2018 instance, the student-athletes were unable to identify the source of contamination. As part of the appeal process, an independent lab tested 27 supplements and products, and none came back as contaminated.
Galloway and Giella presented to the NCAA Committee convincing evidence that they had not voluntarily or intentionally ingested Ostarine.
Despite all this compelling evidence, what did the NCAA do? They denied their appeals.
So, why other member institutions, coaches and players continue to break the rules and come out shining, Galloway and Giella are forced to sit this coming football season out, even when they did nothing wrong.