Read the full text of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's statement Friday afternoon in which he denied he uses crack cocaine. Ford also addressed the players of the football team at Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School, where he was dropped Thursday as coach.
"Well, good afternoon everyone. I'd like to take this opportunity to address a number of issues that have circulated in the media over the last few days. There has been a serious accusation from the Toronto Star that I use crack cocaine. I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist. It is most unfortunate, very unfortunate, that my colleagues and the great people of this city have been exposed to the fact that I have been judged by the media without any evidence. This past week has not been an easy one. It has taken a great toll on my family and my friends and the great people of Toronto. For the past week, on the advice of my solicitor, I was advised not to say a word. I want to thank the people of this great city for their outpouring of support.
"The past few days have also ended a long relationship with Don Bosco. I would like to thank and congratulate all the young men that I've had the opportunity to coach and improve their lives in the last 10 years at Don Bosco. I will continue to support Don Bosco in spirit and I wish them great success for their upcoming season. These kids are phenomenal kids who have bright futures and can do anything if they put their mind to it.
"I would like to assure everyone that we are continuing to fight for the taxpayers every day and it's business as usual at city hall. This administration is turning the corner and I will continue to do what the great people of the city elected me to do and that was to keep taxes low, to improve customer service, and to reduce the size and cost of government and invest in our infrastructure.
"I would also like to thank my former chief of staff Mark Towhey for his service and all the work that he has done. Again, I'd like to repeat: I can't thank the people enough of Toronto for their support and being there and calling me and emailing me every single minute of this day. I would also like to thank you for being here today but most importantly folks, we have, I have, the city has the best deputy mayor in Doug Holyday that anyone could ever ask for. I want to thank Doug for being here and I want to thank my best friend, and I love him dearly, my brother Doug, for having to go through this nonsense. Thank you very much."