Clemson University

Suspended Clemson players to miss national championship game

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Where even is Clemson? And other questions answered in this crash course on Clemson University's history, sports and rivalries.

Clemson will be without star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence in the national championship game, the school announced in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Lawrence is one of three Tigers suspended ahead of last week’s Cotton Bowl for testing positive for the banned substance ostarine along with tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella.

All three players will travel with the team, but they will not play in the game.

“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 Director of Athletics 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.”

The likelihood of the suspensions being overturned before the national title game went from slim to none on Thursday as Clemson confirmed that the three players will miss the game.

Clemson is still appealing to have the three players eligible for next season. Lawrence, a junior, is expected to leave the Tigers and enter the 2019 NFL draft.

But Galloway, a freshman, and Giella, a junior, will be suspended for 2019 if the ruling is not overturned.

“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,” Radakovich said. “Neither Clemson, Galloway, Giella nor Lawrence anticipate having further comment on this matter until after the appeals have concluded.”

Senior defensive tackle Albert Huggins is expected to take Lawrence’s spot in Clemson’s starting lineup for the second straight game.

The Tigers are expected to arrive in California on Friday afternoon.

According to the Banned Substances Control Group, ostarine was “developed in the mid 2000s to help combat bone and muscle wasting in people suffering from a range of debilitating diseases and aging but is still being clinically researched and is not yet an approved drug. Ostarine is designed to activate the androgen receptor in a similar fashion to anabolic steroids. Because it produces strength gains similar to those of anabolic steroids without unpopular androgenic side effects, the drug has become a prevalent steroid alternative for bodybuilders and athletes.”

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