Swinney: Clemson could have unknowingly distributed PED
Field Level Mediaon
The three Clemson players who tested positive for an illegal performance-enhancing drug before the College Football Playoff could have been given the drug by the school mistakenly, head coach Dabo Swinney acknowledged in an interview.
Swinney told The Post and Courier that the university is investigating all possibilities. He was asked if the three players could have ingested the banned drug ostarine from a supplement given by Clemson or from another exposure on campus.
"Oh yeah, I mean, there's a chance that it could come from anything," Swinney said. "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."
Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella were banned from the Cotton Bowl and Clemson's win in the national championship game after the positive test for ostarine. They also were suspended for the 2019 season.
Lawrence has entered the NFL draft. The others have eligibility remaining, and Clemson has appealed their suspensions.
Clemson has not answered a request from the newspaper for a list of supplements available to players during the season and the staff members who handle them.
NCAA rules allow college athletic departments to offer dietary supplements but the organization offers warnings that some manufacturers might not include all substances on the label.
Clemson could make the argument that the way an NCAA-approved supplement was manufactured could have led to ostarine being included but not labeled.
"You can research articles, there are a lot of times when things are cleared and end up having a contaminant in it because of where it was processed, the factory it came from, whether there were other things there," Swinney said. "So there's a lot of that. There's a case out there that there was a contaminant at a testing lab. There are lots of different things and the legal people are involved in that."