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Bachar Houli is giving Ahmed Saad his full support during the Saint's drug ordeal
BACHAR HOULI has offered a helping hand to Ahmed Saad as the young Saint deals with an alleged breach of the AFL's illicit drugs code.
Speaking at Punt Road on Thursday, Houli described Saad, a fellow AFL multicultural ambassador and together the only two Muslims playing League football, as his "brother".
Saad’s A sample has tested positive to a banned substance
and he is now awaiting the outcome of a test on a B sample. He faces a lengthy suspension from the game if he tests positive again.
"I haven’t spoken to him since this happened," Houli said. "But I'll be the brother I have been and I'll support him from that perspective of a brother.
"I have had a lot to do with him. I speak to him every two weeks."
Houli was reluctant to dwell further on the subject other than to say he would reach out to Saad in the coming days.
Instead, he spoke at length about Saturday's crunch game with Hawthorn at the MCG, one the Tigers need to win to secure a finals berth once and for all and to press claims for a top-four position by the end of the season.
"We're focused on a massive challenge this week and we're ready to take on the Hawks," he said.
Richmond rounds out its season with four of its last five matches at the MCG. "It's long and wide and it suits our style of game," he said.
"We're as confident as we have been against any other side. There has been a massive focus on what we've done right this season, and if we want to become a top four team ourselves we have to start beating the other top four teams."
"You can't just beat the teams outside the top eight and expect to be a top four team yourself."
Houli said the re-signings this week of Jack Riewoldt
, Dylan Grimes and Daniel Jackson
emphasized the close-knit nature of the playing group at Richmond.
"If we want to go places in the future we have to keep the stars of the team. And it's great that they were willing to take pay cuts to ensure they are part of a successful team."