Toronto conservative mayor Rob Ford has admitted that he has smoked crack cocaine during one of his "drunken stupors".

His confession followed reports that Canadian police retrieved a video allegedly showing him smoking crack. The video was uncovered during an investigation that led to the arrest of Alessandro Lisi, a friend and occasional driver for the 44-year-old politician.

Ford admitted to reporters:

"Yes I have smoked crack cocaine. Am I addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably during one of my drunken stupors. Probably approximately one year ago.

"Yes, I've made mistakes. All I can do now is apologise and move on.

"There've been times when I've been in a drunken stupor," he added. "That's why I want to see this tape. Why I want the entire city to see the tape. I want to see what state I was in. I'd like to see this tape. I don't even recall there being a tape. Some of the stuff that you guys have seen me, the state I'm in - it's a problem."

The scandal erupted when US website Gawker and newspaper Toronto Star reported they had been separately offered a video by a Somali drug gang for a six-figure sum.

Gawker editor John Cook and Toronto Star reporters Robyn Doolittle and Kevin Donovan claimed they were shown the recording on a mobile phone and were left in little doubt that it showed Ford inhaling from what looked like a glass pipe and making erratic comments.

Ford, who was elected mayor in 2010, at first denied the allegations.