January 3, 2019 / 9:08 PM / 3 months ago

Dexter Lawrence among Tigers officially ruled out of title game

Clemson star junior Dexter Lawrence and two of his teammates have officially been ruled out of Monday night’s title game between the Tigers and No. 1 Alabama.

FILE PHOTO: Dec 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (90) and defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (42) pursue Pittsburgh Panthers running back Darrin Hall (22) during the first quarter in the ACC championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson released a statement Thursday affirming that Lawrence, Zach Giella and Braden Galloway would be suspended, as they were for the national semifinal game against Notre Dame. The trio tested positive for ostarine, a banned substance.

“Clemson will not have tight end Braden Galloway, offensive lineman Zach Giella and defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence available for Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement. “However, Clemson has been informed by the NCAA that the three student-athletes will be permitted to travel to Santa Clara, Calif., with the team later this week.”

Barring successful appeals, the failed tests would lead to one-year suspensions for the three players. That likely would end Lawrence’s college career, widely considered a first-round NFL draft pick.

“As requested by these student-athletes, Clemson filed notices of appeal with the NCAA. We will continue to work with the three impacted 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 after the appeals have concluded.”

The trio failed NCAA drug tests earlier this month. The confirmation last week that their B-samples contained trace amounts of the banned substance sealed their fate for the Cotton Bowl and Monday’s title game.

Lawrence last week said he was shocked he tested positive, guessing it came from an energy drink or hair gel.

“I’m not the type of guy to do a selfish act like that,” Lawrence said. “I have too much pride. I love this team and my family too much to put a substance like that in my body. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know how it got there. I was raised different. If I did do it, I’d own up to it. All I can say is I honestly don’t know what happened, where it came from.”

Clemson and Alabama kick off the championship game Monday at 8 p.m. in Santa Clara, California.

—Field Level Media

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