By Kerri-Ann Roper and Alex Green, PA
The lead singer of Eurovision winners Maneskin did not take drugs during the grand final, an inquiry by organisers has concluded.
The European Broadcasting Union said in a statement that Damiano David, frontman of the Italian rock group, had returned a negative result in a drugs test since the event on Saturday.
The band, who won with the song Zitti E Buoni, had “strongly refuted the allegations of drug use” that emerged on social media after David appeared to bend over a table in the contest’s green room while on camera.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 24, 2021
A statement from the EBU said: “Following allegations of drug use in the green room of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final on Saturday 22 May, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), as requested by the Italian delegation, has conducted a thorough review of the facts, including checking all available footage.
“A drug test was also voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Maneskin which has returned a negative result seen by the EBU. No drug use took place in the green room and we consider the matter closed.”
The EBU said it was “alarmed that inaccurate speculation leading to fake news has overshadowed the spirit and the outcome of the event and unfairly affected the band”.
During a press conference following Maneskin’s win, David denied that he used drugs and said he bent over because another band member had broken a glass at their feet.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 22, 2021
The EBU subsequently said band members had asked that David be drug tested to refute the speculation.