The organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest
announced on Monday that the lead singer of the Italian glam rock band Maneskin tested negative for drug use, putting an end to speculation that had harmed the band's victory.
The European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the annual kitsch-filled song festival, issued a statement saying, "We consider the matter closed."
The EBU stated that it reached this conclusion after reviewing all available footage from Saturday night's television
broadcast and seeing the negative results of Maneskin singer Damiano David's voluntary drug test.
Rumors circulated 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 denied the claim, saying he never uses drugs and was leaning over because his guitarist had broken a glass.
The claims found particular resonance in mainstream French media, despite the fact that France
, a leading contender for Eurovision victory, finished second after popular votes
“We are concerned that inaccurate speculation leading to fake news has overshadowed the spirit and outcome of the event and has unfairly impacted the band,” said the EBU in a statement.
Maneskin's victory gave Italy
a much-needed boost after a calamitous year as one of the worst-affected countries by the coronavirus
, and it will return next year's competition to the site where European song contests first began.