Grizzlies' Calathes set to return from suspension Sunday

by 10h ago

Nick Calathes is coming back to a job that may no longer be his.

Calathes will return to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday following the completion of the 20-game suspension handed down to him last April, but he may have lost his role as backup point guard to Beno Udrih.

Calathes was suspended after testing positive for the banned substance tamoxifen, according to the reports at the time of the suspension. Tamoxifen is an ingredient found in an over-the-counter athletic supplement. According to the players' union, who initially called the punishment an injustice, it's not used with intent to gain an unfair advantage.

In April, a report stated that Calathes triggered the positive text for tamoxifen by taking a hair-growth supplement to combat balding.

Whatever the case, Calathes has served his time and will be back with the Grizzlies when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

"I'm happy to be back," Calathes told Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal on Saturday. "They're rolling. I want to do whatever I can to help keep it going."

Unfortunately for the Florida product, the Grizzlies are playing extremely well, and he may have been usurped as the team's backup point guard. When Calathes was suspended, the team gave extended run to Udrih, later re-signing him for the 2014-15 season.

Udrih has been solid behind starter Mike Conley this year, averaging 7.6 points and 2.7 assists in 18.1 minutes off the bench. At worst, Calathes would be the team's number three point guard, but he may have a tough road back to a consistent place in head coach Dave Joerger's rotation.

Feature photo courtesy of Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Apr 25, 6:59 PM

Report: Calathes' steroid suspension could be related to baldness treatment

by Apr 25, 6:59 PM

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Nick Calathes was suspended last week, ahead of the NBA playoffs, for the use of a banned substance, something his camp called unfair and said they plan to appeal.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, one part of such an appeal may be that the over-the-counter yet banned substance that Calathes tested positive for, Tamoxifen, came from something Calathes was using to treat his baldness.

From the Sentinel:

By that, I mean he's going bald and doesn't like it. So he took Rogaine or minoxidil or some sort of baldness treatment. It contained tamoxifen, a prescription drug normally used to treat breast cancer. It is one of approximately 140 items on the NBA's banned list.

For privacy reasons, nobody has publicly said Calathes' "medical issue" is baldness. But all you have to do is listen to the whispers and take a look at him.

"He's going bald at 24," one person said. "Nobody wants to do that."

That report certainly seems speculative, but it's not like this would be the first time an athlete leaned on impending baldness as a way to try and wiggle out of a suspension. Jose Theodore, then the goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, used that defense back in 2006.

The unfortunate part for Calathes, though, is that regardless of the reason, he took a banned substance. Team #PlayBald will gladly embrace him, especially now that he, too, appears to be embracing his baldness.

[Dap: PBT]

Apr 19, 5:49 PM

Grizzlies' Calathes calls suspension unfair, plans to appeal

by Apr 19, 5:49 PM

Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes plans to appeal his suspension on the basis that the league's decision is unfair. However, the NBA is not planning to reverse the ruling.

Calathes tested positive for Tamoxifen, a common over-the-counter drug that is banned by the NBA. Although Tamoxifen has no inherent performance-enhancing properties, it can mask synthetic testosterone, which is often the intended biomedical product of PEDs. However, Calathes did not test positive for synthetic testosterone, nor any other PED.

"[It was] an over-the-counter supplement to treat a private but common medical condition; the NBA rejected it because it doesn't require a prescription," said Calathes' attourney David Cornwell to ESPN.

Unlike Major League Baseball, the NBA does not grant "stays", where the player is allowed to remain active before an appeal is formally heard. So it looks like Calathes will serve his suspension during the duration of Memphis' playoff run. 

Apr 19, 11:08 AM

Players union rep calls Grizzlies' Calathes' 20-game suspension 'a true injustice'

by Apr 19, 11:08 AM

On the heels of Memphis Grizzlies rotational guard Nick Calathes' 20-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, his defence, the National Basketball Players Union, is taking issue with the ruling. 

Via Yahoo! Sports, NBPA acting executive director Ron Klempner described the decision as "a true injustice."

The banned substance, Tamoxifen, is an ingredient found in an over-the-counter athletic supplement, and is not used with intent to gain an unfair advantage, according to the report.

Calathes is expected to appeal the ruling, but he will be unavailable when Memphis embarks on its fourth-straight post-season appearance - a first-round match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

The suspension, when officially settled, is likely to spill into next season.

Apr 18, 7:58 PM

Grizzlies point guard Nick Calathes suspended 20 games for drug policy violation

by Apr 18, 7:58 PM

The Memphis Grizzlies will be without their back-up point guard in the playoffs as Nick Calathes reportedly tested positive for Tamoxifen, an over-the-counter supplement, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The NBA confirmed the news later on Friday night.

In 71 games this season, Calathes has posted per-game averages of 4.9 points, 2.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds. He serves as the Grizzlies' point guard off the bench. His absence likely pushes Beno Udrih into his role.