New York: Nick Calathes, a Greek rookie backup guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, was suspended 20 games without pay Friday by the NBA for a doping violation, the league announced.
Only minutes before the opening day of the playoffs, the NBA revealed that Calathes would be banished after testing positive for tamoxifen, a banned substance found in a supplement he had been taking.
The suspension for Calathes will begin with Saturday`s playoff opener for the Grizzlies at Oklahoma City.
Last season, Memphis upset Oklahoma City in the playoffs.
Calathes, a 25-year-old who played college basketball at Florida, averaged 4.9 points, 2.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds a game this season for the Grizzlies.
A national team player for Greece, Calathes also helped Athens Panathinaikos to Greek league crowns in 2010 and 2011 and a runner-up showing in 2012.
Last year he sparked Russia`s Lokomotiv Kuban to the EuroCup title, being named the event`s Most Valuable Player.