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Dabo Swinney: Clemson may have mistakenly given players banned substances

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says there are any number of possible ways for three of his football players to have consumed banned substances that led to their suspension just before the College Football Playoff last December. Although Swinney still believes his players may be vindicated, he is not ruling out the possibility those banned substances may have come from within the Clemson program by mistake.

“Oh yeah, I mean, there’s a chance that it could come from anything,” Swinney said in a story published by The Post and Courier. “They’re going to test everything and look at everything. And that’s the problem. As you really look at this stuff, it could be a contaminant that came from anything, that was something that was cleared and not a problem, and all of a sudden, it becomes there was something.”

It is true that the regulations and banned substances can sometimes be a tad complicated, and there are times when one ingredient slips through the cracks when a player consumes a substance. It is, therefore, possible a substance provided through the university may have been one that was overlooked in the process, although that would lead to some more questions about those responsible for handing out the drugs to players on the university payroll if that is the case.

This latest comment from Swinney doesn’t stray too far from his previous comment on the situation. Last December, when it was announced defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Braden Galloway had failed a drug test, Swinney came to the defense of his players and suggested they had no idea how they could have failed their respective drug tests.

“They have no clue how it got in their system. This could have come from hair products, cream, protein, a product you buy online and you think nothing is wrong with it. It could be something in a drink,” Swinney said at the time. “40 or so athletes over the last year or so have had to deal with same thing, and several were vindicated.”

The players failed a drug test for ostarine and additional samples were not clean enough to reinstate the players for the semifinal game against Notre Dame or the national championship game against Alabama. While Lawrence is off to the NFL, Giella and Galloway remain on the team while the appeals process continues.

Three Clemson players fail drug test leading up to College Football Playoff

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As Clemson prepares to take on Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl for one of the College Football Playoff semifinal games this weekend, the status of three players appears to be up in the air. Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Braden Galloway have reportedly failed a drug test due to a trace of ostarine in samples recently tested by the NCAA.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney addressed the news with media on Monday and suggested the players did not willingly or knowingly ingest the substance.

“They have no clue how it got in their system. This could have come from hair products, cream, protein, a product you buy online and you think nothing is wrong with it. It could be something in a drink,” Swinney said in defending his players, according to Tiger Illustrated. “40 or so athletes over the last year or so have had to deal with same thing, and several were vindicated.”

Clemson is currently appealing the positive drug tests, which leaves the eligibility for all three players in limbo ahead of the Cotton Bowl matchup with the Fighting Irish. An update on their status may not be known until after Christmas after having to provide a second sample for examination

Ostarine is a selective androgen receptor modulator typically used for the treatment muscle wasting and osteoporosis. It has been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.