After Italian rock band Maneskin won the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, there was widespread speculation about whether the group's lead singer, Damiano David, was doing drugs on a live TV broadcast on Saturday.
When the winners of the contest were announced and telecast cameras panned over to the Italitans celebrating at a table stocked with beer and champagne, some Twitter users noticed David bending his head down onto the table for a moment, appearing to "snort cocaine" during the live broadcast.
The clip appeared to show the band's drummer, Ethan Torchio, kicking David under the table as soon as he realized that they were on camera, prompting the singer to suddenly sit up. Another clip appeared to show David wiping his nose with his arm. Watch the videos below:
Maneskin Denied the Allegations
In a press conference after the band was announced as the winners, David denied having done cocaine, and said that guitarist Thomas Raggi broke a glass, and that's what he was looking down at.
"I don't use drugs, please guys," David told reporters. He then asked people not to say he was using cocaine. "Don't say that," he said. David, Raggi, Torchio, and bassist Victoria De Angelis won the competition with their song "Zitti e buoni." Maneskin also released a statement on its Instagram Stories, saying, "We really are AGAINST drugs and we never used cocaine."
Eurovision Says Winners' Drug Test Came Back Negative
On Monday, the show's producer, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), cleared David of the drug allegations. "No drug use took place in the Green Room and we consider the matter closed," the EBU said in a statement Monday after announcing David tested negative for drug use. The other members of Maneskin tested negative as well. "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."
In an interview with the BBC on Monday, David said he felt the false rumors had overshadowed their victory. "I feel really offended," he said. "I think these kind of things are outrageous."