Starting defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is suspended after testing positive for the banned substance ostarine.
Lawrence was suspended for the Cotton Bowl national semifinal win over No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 29 after a supplemental sample of a failed drug test returned positive results for the banned muscle-growth supplement. After additional testing was done to weed out false positive results, the NCAA upheld Lawrence's suspension, along with those of Zach Giella and Braden Galloway, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said Thursday.
"As requested by these student-athletes, Clemson filed notices of appeal with the NCAA," Radakovich said. "We will continue to work with the three student athletes and their legal representatives over the coming weeks to prepare the appeals. Neither Clemson, Galloway, Giella nor Lawrence anticipate having further comment on this matter until the appeals have concluded."
Lawrence told reporters Thursday he did not know how the banned substance entered his body and said he’d never taken performance-enhancing drugs.
“We get tested regularly and we know not to do anything stupid or selfish like that,” he said, per ESPN. “That’s why this is such a shock.”
The three players will be able to travel with the team to Santa Clara, Calif., for the national championship game.
While Lawrence's ban could last for as long as one year, the junior tackle will likely declare for the NFL draft after this season. He is widely projected to be a first-round pick. At 6-foot-4, 350-pounds, Lawrence had 37 tackles, 7.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks in 13 games this season.
The Tigers and Crimson Tide will kick off in Levi's Stadium at 8 p.m. on Monday night for the national title.