Ford camp calls allegations 'outrageous'

A spokesperson for Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford says allegations he was invovled in a physical incident with a high school football player are outrageous and slanderous.

A major policy announcement by Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford was derailed Wednesday over published allegations that Ford had a physical confrontation with a high school football player.

The incident, which allegedly happened in 2001, involved Ford in his role as football coach and an unnamed player at Newtonbrook High School.

Ford refused to speak about the incident but a spokesperson called the Toronto Star article a "smear piece."

The report said Ford was asked to stop coaching after the incident. He says he left of his own accord.

Ford continues to coach football at Don Bosco High School.

It meant that an important plank in the Ward 2 councillor's mayoral platform was not given the type of media attention it might have normally received.

Ford's Taxpayer Protection Plan includes cutting the budgets of the mayor's office and city councillors by 20 per cent. He said that will save $3 million per year.

He also wants City of Toronto expenses to be published online "in a timely manner" and for all major purchases to be open to the tendering process.

Ford has also proposed the introduction of whistleblower protection for city staff who speak up about waste and mismanagement. 

"This plan will improve accountability and transparency, as well as cut costs, and that's what City Hall needs most right now," Ford said in a prepared statement.

As for the allegations over the confrontation Ford refused to answer questions but spokesperson Adrienne Batra said, "Coun. Ford vehemently denies ever abusing a football player ... he adamantly denies that story."

Batra said the story was "outrageous, it's slanderous and it's patently incorrect."