Memphis guard Calathes hit with 20-game doping ban

AFP| Updated: Apr 19, 2014, 11:18 AM IST

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.