Damiano David, frontman of Rome’s glam rock band Måneskin, which won the 65th Eurovision song contest, has tested negative for drug use following claims that he may have been snorting cocaine after the show’s finale on Saturday.
“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,” EBU said in a statement. “A drug test was also voluntarily undertaken earlier today by the lead singer of the band Måneskin 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,” EBU added.
“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,” EBU continued.
“We wish to congratulate Måneskin once again and wish them huge success. We look forward to working with our Italian member RAI on producing a spectacular Eurovision Song Contest in Italy next year,” EBU concluded.
David had shot down any speculation at a press conference on Saturday, following the group’s victory. “[Guitarist Thomas Raggi] broke a glass…I don’t use drugs. Please guys, do not say that. Don’t say that, really. No cocaine, please, do not say that,” the frontman had told reporters.
The band returned home from Rotterdam Sunday, landing at Leonardo da Vinci airport to great outpours of adulation from Italian fans and congratulations from the government. And on Monday morning the bandleader, after having vowed to do so, took a drug test that has resulted negative, according to the EBU.
The negative test result dispels mounting social media speculation prompted by a video that went viral over the weekend in which David had briefly bent his head down on the table while celebrating the band’s victory during the Saturday night live television broadcast which has an estimated audience of nearly 200 million.
Måneskin, which is Danish for “moonlight” and pays tribute to bass player Victoria De Angelis’ Danish ancestry, on Saturday was crowned Eurovision winner scoring a total of 529 points for the heavy metal song “Zitti e Buoni” which translates as “Shut up And Be Good.” France come in second, while Switzerland finished third. The band also won Italy’s Sanremo song fest in March with the same song.
France, where the media made a big brouhaha over spiraling suspicions that David lowered his head to take a quick cocaine snort during the broadcast, decided against lodging a complaint even before the drug test came out negative. On Monday Delphine Ernotte, the head of French public broadcaster France Télévisions, told daily “Le Parisien” on Monday that they “had no intention” of doing so.
Italian pubcaster RAI issued on statement on Sunday calling the controversy “absurd” and expressing its “full support” for the band.
Måneskin’s win was only Italy’s third Eurovision victory and the first since melodic pop singer Toto Cutugno took the contest’s crown in 1990.
Their victory marks the first time an Italian rock band gets this type of international recognition and they have said they are now hoping to go on a European tour, including the U.K.’s iconic Glanstobury music fest in September.
It also means Italy will host Eurovision next year, after more than 30 years. Both Milan and Turin have already thrown their hats in the ring.