Clemson Football Star Gets Hit With Awful News Prior To Playoff Game. It’s A Bad Situation

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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There is a very real chance Clemson football star Dexter Lawrence doesn’t play against Notre Dame after failing a drug test for banned substances.

ESPN reported the following details on the situation Monday:

Star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was among three Clemson players who tested positive for a banned substance earlier this month, coach Dabo Swinney told reporters Monday.

Lawrence and the two other players — backup offensive lineman Zach Giella and freshman tight end Braden Galloway — had a “sliver” of a substance called ostarine in their test samples, Swinney said.

“We do have an issue that we’re dealing with,” Swinney told reporters. “And, you know, I think that the best thing is to just be transparent in that.”

Swinney said he expects B-sample test results, which would determine the players’ eligibility for the game, to be available Wednesday or Thursday. The B-samples are secondary tests to weed out false positives.

This sounds like an awful situation for all three players, especially star Lawrence. I don’t know a ton about drug testing, but I do know testing positive for a “sliver” for a banned substance certainly doesn’t mean the player was purposely using a banned substance.

Look no further than Vegas Knights star Nate Schmidt testing positive for a substance at a level that was the same as a piece of salt in an Olympic swimming pool if you need proof of that fact. Drug testing and results with such low levels is an incredibly strange science.

These leagues just don’t screw around at all when it comes to testing, though. You’re pretty much screwed if you fail one, and they don’t really care if you were using or not. They only care about what the results say. (RELATED: The College Football Playoff Teams Have Been Announced. Some Fans Will Be Enraged)


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Now, the Tigers might have to take the field against Notre Dame December 29 without one of the most feared players on their team. Swinney said even if the B-sample tests come back positive, there’s no guarantee the appeal process would even let him play by Saturday.

All the way around, it’s a really bad issue for everybody involved.


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The good news for Clemson and fans of the program is that they probably don’t need Lawrence to beat the Fighting Irish. The Tigers are hands down the better team. It might be a little tougher without the big man on the field, but Dabo Swinney’s squad should still be absolutely fine.

You can find out Saturday on ESPN. Make sure to tune in because this playoff should be great.

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