The lead singer of the Italian rock band “Manskin”, which won the Eurovision Song Contest, has been acquitted after speculation about drug abuse.
The European Broadcasting Union announced this, after an investigation was conducted and the singer underwent a drug test, which came back negative.
Singer Damiano David denied using cocaine, in response to online speculation spread after he appeared leaning over a table during the final on Saturday.
The union said in a statement: “There was no drug abuse in the Green Room, and we consider it finished.”
Manskin’s group, which was among the top favorites to win the competition, won the first prize with its song “Ziti e Peony”.
Some viewers wondered what the singer was doing when he appeared to bend his face towards a table while the other members of the band celebrated the victory.
And at a press conference, David said he was looking down because the team’s guitarist, Thomas Raggie, broke a glass. The European Broadcasting Union confirmed that broken glass was found on the ground, which can be seen in the live broadcast footage.
On Sunday, David said, “I don’t do drugs. Please guys. Don’t say that, there is no cocaine.”
The union said it was “concerned that inaccurate speculation had led to the spread of false news that overshadowed the spirit and results of the event and unfairly affected the band.”
He added, “We would like to congratulate Manskin again and wish them great success.”
The group strongly denied any drug use, and responded to the allegations in a post on their Instagram page, saying, “We are really against drugs and have never used cocaine. We are ready to undergo a test, because we have nothing to hide.”
French singer Barbara Braffy came second, and she defended the band on her Instagram page as speculation grew online, and some called for the Italians to be excluded before the European Broadcasting Union ruled.
“They were amazing on Saturday night, the viewers voted for them, this is their place, their victory, their moment,” she wrote.
Manskin is the first group to win the competition since 2006. The group also awarded Italy their first win since 1990.