May 24 (UPI) -- Banned Clemson football players Braden Galloway and Zach Giella remain ineligible for the 2019 season after the NCAA denied their appeals on penalties received for testing positive for a banned substance.
Galloway and Giella joined star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence in missing the College Football Playoff semifinal and championship after the trio was suspended for testing positive for a trace amount of Ostarine in December drug tests.
Ostarine is used by bodybuilders to increase lean muscle mass and strength, according the the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Lawrence went on to be the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Galloway is a sophomore tight end and Giella is a senior offensive lineman.
"We are disappointed in the results of the appeal and continue to believe our student-athletes did not knowingly ingest any banned substances," Clemson said in a statement Friday.
"The athletic department takes seriously its role in the education, testing and enforcement of supplement and performance-enhancing substances. We will continue to adhere to best practices with respect to supplement use by student-athletes and support the position of the NCAA in its testing for PEDs."
Attorney Robert Ariail represents Giella and Galloway. He said the players took polygraph tests to confirm that they did not knowingly take the substances.
Ariail stated that both student-athletes had negative test results in multiple additional drug screens, prior to and after, the December test.
Ostarine is the trademarked name for a selective androgen receptor modulator, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency website. It is not approved for human use or consumption in any country. WADA has reported an increasing number of positive tests involving SARMs in recent years. The substances are most likely obtained through the black market.
"While they are not yet approved for human use, SARMs are of interest to the medical community because they might be effective at treating different health conditions without resulting in the negative side effects of steroids," the anti-doping agency says on its website.
Ostarine is being investigated as a treatment for muscle wasting diseases, including osteoporosis, cancer and hypogonadism.