NCAA denies appeal for Clemson football players who tested positive for banned substance

Updated: May. 24, 2019 at 9:43 AM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. (WCSC) - Clemson football players Braden Galloway and Zach Giella have had their appeals denied by the NCAA and both will be ineligible for the 2019 season.

Both players, along with former Tiger DL Dexter Lawrence, tested positive for trace amounts of Ostarine back in December which caused them to miss Clemson’s College Football Playoff games against Notre Dame and Alabama.

The duo has repeatedly said they had no knowledge of how the substance got into their systems, a claim that was backed up as they both took a polygraph test and were found to be truthful according to their lawyer Robert M. Ariail of Greenville.

Clemson Athletics released a statement saying “We are disappointed in the results of the appeal and continue to believe our student-athletes did not knowingly ingest any banned substances.”

“We presented to the Committee convincing evidence that the student-athletes had not voluntarily or intentionally ingested Ostarine. We also presented evidence that the two primary regulatory agencies for drug testing of athletes, WADA and the USADA, have concluded that Ostarine is a wide-spread contaminant which is placed in other consumer products without identifying it on the label. This can produce a very low concentration of Ostarine upon testing. Thus contamination, found in “very low” or “trace” amount levels makes it impossible to determine whether the Ostarine is the result of intentional use or ingested through the consumption of a legitimate product contaminated with Ostarine. The issue has forced both agencies to take action that would remove “very low” or “trace” readings, like in this case, from consideration for sanctions.” Ariail said.

“The NCAA committee, when presented with this evidence, failed to recognize the existence of the major change described above. Thus, it proceeded to use the current practice and policies in place and denied the appeals. Change in this area for the NCAA is inevitable and should have been recognized and applied in this case to reach a fair conclusion. Its failure to do so resulted in an unfair denial of our appeal.”

Galloway, a Tight End, played in 12 games for the Tigers last season catching 5 passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Giella, a reserve offensive tackle, played in 11 games last season.

Lawrence was one of the stars of the Clemson defensive line last season and was a first-round draft pick in the NFL by the New York Giants last month.

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