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Report: Memphis Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes suspended 20 games for violating NBA banned substance policy

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Memphis guard Nick Calathes has been suspended for 20 games for violating the NBA's banned substance policy. How does this affect the Thunder?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies have lost their rookie point guard, Nick Calathes due to a the violation of their anti-drug policy, according to Wojnarowski:

The 25 year old guard tested positive for taking tamoxifen, an over the counter drug, and will be suspended for 20 games.  While Calathes played a small role on the Grizzlies, averaging 16.5 minutes per game, he was effective through his defensive prowess and decent scoring abilities.  He averaged 4.9 PPG and 2.9 assists.  Calathes has become a valuable role player behind point guard Mike Conley, and could have ended up being a burden on Reggie Jackson or another guard with his aggravating defense.

Before Calathes made the jump to the NBA, he played in Greece after playing solid ball at the University of Florida.

The NBPA acting executive director Ron Klempner was stunned at the announcement, and called it an "injustice." As Wojnarowski reports:

"Our collectively bargained program failed this player and this case will certainly be recalled when we return to the bargaining table," Klempner told Yahoo Sports. "In the meantime, we'll file an appeal and allow the process to run its course."

NBA lab results found no traces of synthetic testosterone or performance-enhancing drugs, and as one source told Yahoo Sports, "There was no intent, nor advantage gained here."

Tamoxifen is also on the Major League Baseball and International Olympic Committee's banned substance list, because it has shown to be a masking agent that reduces the side effects of steroid use and increased testosterone production. The drug is generally used in treatments for breast cancer in women.

Klempner said that they would appeal the decision and allow the process to run its course.

Be sure to follow the Grizzlies site Grizzly Bear Blues to stay on top of this breaking story.