Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has offered to take tests to prove that he is drug and alcohol free.
The mayor made the statement while taping a segment for The Zoomer television show, which is hosted by Conrad Black and will air tonight on VisionTV at 9 p.m. Eastern. Mr. Ford has been at the centre of controversy for months following his admission that he has smoked crack, something he blamed on being in a “drunken stupor.”
He has vowed to stop drinking and get into shape, and has recently shown up in his office in sweaty gym clothes. Though stripped of many of his powers by the city’s council, he plans to run again in 2014 and intends to prove he’s no longer abusing substances.
“If they want me to do a drug test, a urine test, I’ll do one right now,” Mayor Ford says in a clip provided by Vision. “If there’s any drugs in my system, any alcohol in my system I have no problem doing that test.”
The atmosphere appears relaxed in the clip. Mr. Black responds “Rob, there’s no need to do a urine test right now,” sending the mayor into a fit of laughter.
The 20-minute segment was taped Friday afternoon at city hall and was originally slated to air Dec. 16. But Vision decided to move the segment ahead a week, citing “overwhelming interest and demand.”
In another promo clip, Mr. Black says, “The piling on to Mayor Rob Ford has been excessive. He was elected mayor of Toronto and those who do not like his style will be free to vote against him if he runs again. If there is sufficient evidence to prosecute him with crimes, due process should be followed. But he should be accorded a full presumption of innocence unless he is justly convicted. Beyond that his accusers should put up or shut up.”
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