Toronto mayor Rob Ford is gaining ground to be re-elected, according to opinion polls, despite documented claims that allege he once made high-school football team players roll around in goose droppings.
According to a phone survey by Forum Research, Ford is polling second among the three main candidates for mayor of Canada's largest city and is closing in on the front runner, John Tory.
"It looks like Rob Ford is on the comeback trail, and although John Tory still has the lead, it is narrowing," said Forum Research President Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Two months before the vote, progressive conservative candidate Tory is leading with 34% of preferences, trailed by Ford (31%) and independent candidate Olivia Chow (23%), the poll suggested.
The score is the highest recorded by Ford, who in recent months made world headlines for his problems of drug and alcohol abuse, since his campaign for re-election started.
Ford returned to work at the end of June after a two-month rehab stint that followed his confession to using crack cocaine as well as "every drug you can probably think of".
Forum Research's poll was conducted on a sample of 1945 Torontonians, earlier this week.
Results were released as new revelations concerning Ford erratic behaviour were published in Canadian media following a freedom of information request.
According to internal documents from the board of the Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School obtained by the Toronto Star, Ford allegedly made players of the school football team "roll in goose scat" and once threatened to beat up a teacher.
Ford, who volunteered as coach, was fired from the job last year after making disparaging remarks about parents and their children.
The players were allegedly punished after a poor performance. However, one of them disputed the claims saying Ford gave them a choice between running and rolling on the dropping-littered grass and they opted for the latter.
Ford's brother and campaign manager, Doug Ford, described the documents as "fictitious rumours and allegations".