The lead singer of Eurovision-winning Italian glam rock band Maneskin passed a voluntary drug test, putting an end to speculation that he did drugs on live TV.
Maneskin lead singer Damiano David returned home Sunday to the adulation of fans that was marred by speculation about the on-air moment that he had already denied in a press conference following the finale of the show. He was so ready to put the rumors to bed that he agreed to take a drug test to prove that he does not use.
Eurovision Song Contest organizers said Monday that David tested negative for drug use.
“We consider the matter closed,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produces the annual kitsch-filled song festival, said in a statement.
EBU said it came to the conclusion after it reviewed all the available footage of the TV broadcast Saturday night and saw the negative results of the singer’s voluntary drug test.
Rumors had swirled on social media — and were raised at a Eurovision news conference — that David had snorted cocaine when he was seen leaning awkwardly over a table during the live TV broadcast. David immediately rejected the claim, saying he never uses drugs and that he was leaning over because his guitarist had broken a glass.
“I don’t use drugs, please, guys. Don’t say that. Really, don’t say that,” he said during the post-show press conference (via Yahoo Entertainment).
Eurovision confirmed that broken glass was found under the table in question.
The claims found a particular echo in mainstream French media. France, which was a leading contender for the Eurovision victory, came in second place after the popular votes were tallied.
“We are alarmed that inaccurate speculation leading to fake news has overshadowed the spirit and the outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band,” the EBU statement said.
The band was the bookmakers’ favorite going into the Eurovision finale and sealed the win early Sunday with the highest popular vote in the enormously entertaining, and incredibly kitsch, annual song festival.
Maneskin’s win gave Italy a sorely needed boost after a dreadful year as one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus and will bring next year’s competition back to the place where European song contests began.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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