TORONTO - Canada's two largest newspapers acted responsibly and in the public interest in reporting on drug allegations against Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, the Ontario Press Council ruled Wednesday.

In dismissing two separate public complaints, the council found the Star and Globe and Mail had engaged in responsible, ethical investigative reporting.

The Ford brothers, the council said, were given more than ample opportunity to respond before the papers published their stories in May.

"The panel concluded that the Star and the Globe both followed appropriate journalistic guidelines in their reporting on the Fords," George Thomson, chairman of the panel that heard the complaints, said in a statement.

The mayor had no comment when asked about the press council's decision.

Dozens of readers had complained about the newspapers' coverage of the Fords.

In its story, the Star detailed how two of its reporters had viewed a cellphone video it said showed the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

The Globe ran a separate account that alleged Coun. Ford had dealt drugs in his west-end neighbourhood as a young man.

The press council, an industry arbiter, accepted two representative complaints, one from Darylle Donley, who accused the Star of letting its distaste for the mayor's policies taint its coverage.

The video could have been a fake, and the Star should have bought the footage it said was being shopped around by drug dealers to back up its story, Donley argued.

In her complaint, Connie Harrison faulted the Globe for undermining the public trust by using anonymous sources to tell the story of Doug Ford's alleged drug dealing.

"We don't know who to believe at this point," Harrison told the panel at a hearing last month.

In their defence, both newspapers said they had taken every possible step to ensure their stories were both accurate and fair.

They argued they went to extraordinary lengths to verify the information, and had repeatedly asked the Fords for their side of the story — to no avail.

They also argued it was in the public interest — given the Fords' positions — to publish the material.

The Globe said it had to rely on anonymous sources for confirmation of its information.

The press council also decided the Globe was right to include other Ford family members in its story, but qualified the decision.

"The Globe came close to crossing the line into what are the problematic, but private affairs of family members," the council wrote.

"However, the council believes that the overall theme of the article ... justifies reference to the actions of these other family members."

The council urged news organizations to do more to ensure the public understands their journalistic approach and why stories serve the public interest.

"Transparency will help consumers of media better understand the reasons behind decisions to cover specific issues," Frances Lankin, chairwoman of the press council, said in a statement.

Mayor Ford has never substantively addressed the drug allegations against him, saying only he does not smoke crack cocaine and that the video in question does not exist.

His brother vehemently denied the drug dealing allegations after they were published.

Neither newspaper story has been independently verified.

The Ontario Press Council, which is funded by its member news organizations including the Globe and Star, does not verify the facts of a story but rather whether a member has followed appropriate journalistic standards in publishing.

The parent companies of both the Star and the Globe and Mail hold an ownership stake in The Canadian Press national news agency as part of a joint agreement with the corporate parent of Montreal's La Presse.

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  • NEXT: Best Rob Ford GIFs

  • Flashdance

    He's got the moves like Jagger.. He's got the moves like Jagger. <a href="http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/Do/November-2012/In-tribute-of-GIF-being-the-word-of-the-year-heres-our-favourite-Toronto-GIFs/" target="_blank">From PostCity</a>

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  • Word Vomit

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  • Next: Best Photos From The Crack Scandal

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford held a press conference at City Hall Friday afternoon in response to possible provincial funding cuts to the city.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves after making an appearance at the raising of the Rainbow flag to kick off Pride Week festivities on the Podium roof at City Hall.

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes in the Argo game in the stands at Varsity Stadium. He was very into the game. .Toronto, June 20, 2013. Rene Johnston/Toronto Star (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes in the Argo game in the stands at Varsity Stadium. He was very into the game. .Toronto, June 20, 2013. Rene Johnston/Toronto Star (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Mayor Rob Ford shares a laugh with General Richard Rohmer, left, and Chief Paul Raftis during speeches as Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) celebrated the graduation of 40 new paramedics at EMS headquarters. Ford later ducked the media by leaving through a secured exit . June 20. Bernard Weil/Toronto Star (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford steps off an art installation of the rooster bust at Nathan Phillips Square. The rooster is the Mayor's birth sign under the Chinese Zodiac. The Mayor unveiled 12 bronze animal heads by renown Chinese artists Ai Weiwei presented by AGO. The 12 sculptures are animal heads depicting the Chinese Zodiac. (Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford touches the nose of a new rat at City Hall. The Mayor unveiled 12 bronze animal heads by renown Chinese artists Ai Weiwei presented by AGO. The 12 sculptures are animal heads depicting the Chinese Zodiac. (Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • A police officer from Toronto Police Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force picks up an assault rifle as police display guns seized during a series of raids for operation "Project Traveller" at a news conference in Toronto on Friday, June 14, 2013. Police say a violent gang which was terrorizing a northwest Toronto neighborhood has been dismantled following a series of raids targeting suspected drug and gun traffickers. One of the raids targeted an apartment complex where an alleged video appearing to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine was reported to be located. Police haven't said if Ford was in any way part of their year-long investigation. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford answers questions about the three new staffers he has hired at a news conference at city hall in Toronto on Friday, May 31, 2013. Ford, the burly populist who refers to his conservative supporters as "Ford Nation," has transfixed North Americans since published accounts surfaced of a video that apparently shows him puffing from a glass crack pipe. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Michelle Siu)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford whistles as he walks to a meeting at city hall in Toronto on Thursday, May 30, 2013. More staffers are leaving the Toronto mayor's office as controversy swirls about a video that purportedly shows Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford emerges from his office holding slices of a birthday cake to offer to members of the media at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday May 28, 2013. The mayor is celebrating his 44th birthday. Ford met with his executive committee for the first time since allegations of Ford's videotaped drug use surfaced earlier this month. Ford has denied the drug-use allegations, making a statement late last week after six members of his executive committee urged him to publicly address the allegations following a week of mostly silence on the issue. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attends an Executive Committee meeting at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. This is Ford's first meeting with his executive committee since allegations of Ford's videotaped drug use surfaced earlier this month. Ford has denied the drug-use allegations, making a statement late last week after six members of his executive committee urged him to publicly address the allegations following a week of mostly silence on the issue. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford sits during a City council meeting at Toronto City Hall on Tuesday May 21, 2013. Ford ignored a crush of reporters waiting outside his city hall office this morning in the hopes he would address allegations that he was recorded on video appearing to smoke crack cocaine. (AP Photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS,Nathan Denette)

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  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his home on Friday, May 17, 2013, after published reports said a video appears to show Ford smoking crack cocaine. A report published Thursday night said the video is being shopped around by a group of men allegedly involved in the drug trade. The Toronto Star said, however, it had no way to verify the video. Ford called the allegations ridiculous. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

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  • Mayor Rob Ford in Council Chambers talking to councillors about seniors and housing. Earlier today Toronto Police launched massive predawn raid, as part of Project Traveller, targeting guns and drugs, and focusing on the Toronto neighbourhood thats ground zero for the Mayor Rob Ford crack video scandal. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Mayor Rob Ford in Council Chambers talking to councillors about seniors and housing. Earlier today Toronto Police launched massive predawn raid, as part of Project Traveller, targeting guns and drugs, and focusing on the Toronto neighbourhood thats ground zero for the Mayor Rob Ford crack video scandal. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

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  • Mayor Rob Ford looks over Ontario Minor Football League standings while council breezes through a series of minor motions before the University of Toronto back campus field debate resumes at City Hall. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford looks at his tie during a city hall meeting. Today It was made public that Toronto City Councillor Jaye Robinson was fired from the mayor's executive committee. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine. Robinson publicly urged Ford to take a leave of absence to deal with the scandal. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

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  • Elena Johnson, 51, a resident at 15 Windsor Road, where Mayor Rob Ford was photographed with murder victim Anthony Smith and another shooting victim. The house is notorious for drug problems, according to people living in the area. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video at this house smoking crack cocaine. (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Reporters keep a watchful eye on the house which is all quiet.The house at 15 Windsor Road in Etobicoke where Mayor Rob Ford was allegedly photographed in relation to crack use is seen the morning after the Star published the address. June 6, 2013. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tours the Dufferin Street bridge just south of Springhurst Avenue. The Mayor addressed the media about the closing of the bridge on June 12 due to safety concerns. It will be closed to traffic to allow for repairs. The bridge will still be open to pedestrians and cyclist. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • A man identified by friends and neighbours as Fabio Basso, a resident of 15 Windsor Road, in Etobicoke, the address where a photo showing Mayor Rob Ford with two shooting victims was taken. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video in front of this house smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks. (Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • A woman identified by friends and neighbours as Elena Basso, a resident of 15 Windsor Road, in Etobicoke, the address where a photo showing Mayor Rob Ford with two shooting victims was taken. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video in front of this house smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks. (Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attends a Tim Horton's Camp Day fund raising event in Scarborough. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

  • Exterior view of 15 Windsor Rd., the address where a photo showing Mayor Rob Ford with two shooting victims was taken. Ford is currently embroiled in a scandal after allegations surfaced that he was recorded on a cellphone video in front of this house smoking crack cocaine and making offensive remarks. (Toronto Star Archives/Toronto Star via Getty Images)