The Clemson Tigers will be without two beneficial players next season. Tight end Braden Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella lost their NCAA appeal on testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Former Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence also tested positive but opted for the NFL Draft where he was selected 17th overall by the New York Giants. With the appellate process now over, both Galloway and Giella will serve year-long bans.
All three players tested positive for traces of Ostarine. According to the USADA, ostarine is a drug that could be a drug that can treat different health conditions, but without the side effects that comes in using steroids. The drug is not approved for human use and can only be found in illegal supplements. It’s considered a SARM (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator) and is one of the thousands of substances on the NCAA’s banned substances list. The players claim that they unknowingly took the substance and did pass a polygraph that backs up their story. Even though Galloway and Giella passed four other drug tests dating back to April of last year, that wasn’t enough for the NCAA to rule in their favor.
While neither player was considered a huge impact for the Tigers this year, this is still a significant loss for the team. Galloway was expected to compete for the starting tight end job and had a good chance of securing it. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound sophomore played in three games last year and had five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. His athletic ability to go along with his size would’ve made him a nice alternative with this already deep receiving unit.
While Giella was expected to be a backup on the o-line, losing him could hurt in the long run. The Tigers have a few questions surrounding the group and the experience that Giella brings to the table could have been very beneficial. With the offensive line as the weakest link (which isn’t very weak at all) for the Clemson offense, it’s hard to lose seniors that have a lot of football knowledge and can help the younger guys grow.