Eurovision defends winner Damiano David after drug-taking allegations
Eurovision has defended Italian winner Damiano David, of rock band Måneskin, after an internal review confirmed he did not take drugs during Saturday’s final.
David was forced to deny allegations he had snorted cocaine while Eurovision votes were being counted on Saturday night (22 May), following speculation on social media.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises Eurovision, announced on Monday (24 May) that it had conducted a review and that David had taken a drug test to prove that there were no illegal substances in his system.
“No drug use took place in the Green Room and we consider the matter closed,” the EBU said in a statement.
“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.
“We wish to congratulate Måneskin once again and wish them huge success,” the EBU added.
Eurovision winners Måneskin said they were ‘really shocked’ at drug use accusations
Måneskin claimed victory at the Eurovision Song Contest during Saturday’s grand final, beating out stiff competition from France, Switzerland and Malta.
However, the band’s victory quickly became overshadowed by questions about drug use.
David was asked whether he had used drugs at a press conference after the event.
“I have to ask this because there was a sequence during the broadcast when you are seen in the background leaning over the table and seem to be snorting something,” a journalist said.
“Online, people are suggesting that you are taking cocaine. What was it?”
David strenuously denied the allegation and said he was leaning over in the video footage because his bandmate Thomas Raggi had broken a glass.
“I don’t use drugs, please guys, do not say that. No, please don’t say that. Don’t say that, really. No cocaine, please. Don’t say that,” he said.
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The band later addressed the speculation on Instagram, saying they were “really shocked about what some people are saying about Damiano doing drugs.”
Måneskin said they “really are against drugs” and insisted that they “never used cocaine”.
“We are ready to get tested, cause we have nothing to hide,” the band wrote.
“We are here to play music and we are so happy about our Eurovision win and we wanna thank everyone for supporting us.”
Following the event, the European Broadcasting Union confirmed that broken glass was found on the floor where Måneskin were sitting.
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