The No. 2 Tigers are scheduled to play No. 3 Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Saturday, Dec. 29.
The NCAA notified Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Braden Galloway that they failed recent drug tests, Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney told reporters Monday.
The players were said to have failed the test when a "sliver of ostarine" was found in their results.
According to the U.S. Anit-Doping Agency, Ostarine is defined as a Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) that is not approved for human use or consumption in the United States or any other countries. Ostarine is of interest in the medical community due to its ability to potentially treat health conditions without the negative side effects of steroids.
Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich was informed of the failed tests last Thursday. Swinney said that none of the players intentionally consumed ostarine, and the players thought it was initially a joke when told their results returned positive for the substance.
Lawrence, named a first-team All-ACC performer this year, would be a key absence leading up to Saturday's game. The Tigers boast the nation's third-best scoring defense (14.2 points allowed per game) and fourth-best total defense (286.2 total yards allowed per game).
A "B sample" of the tests results will be returned later in the week will provide further clarity and could reportedly clear the players by Wednesday. Kickoff between Clemson and Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.