Ukraine President takes drug test before debating comedian in 70,000-seater stadium

Microphones in front of a screen showing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko undergo a blood test live.

(CNN)Ukraine's sensational presidential election campaign took another surreal twist on Friday, as the incumbent and his comedian challenger, Volodymr Zelensky, both underwent blood tests on live television ahead of a debate.

Zelensky, a comedian with no political experience who played the role of the country's President on a sitcom for three years, is the frontrunner in the race after winning the first round of voting.
A drug and alcohol test was one of his conditions for taking part in a debate with Petro Poroshenko, as the incumbent seeks to make up ground ahead of the run-off on April 21.
Poroshenko, who has been in his post since 2014, agreed to the stipulation, live-streaming his test on Facebook. "We are creating new traditions," he said as his blood was taken, according to Agence France-Presse.
    Reporters watched on a television screen as the test took place in another room at Kiev's Olympic Stadium, where the debate is set to take place -- as per another of Zelensky's demands.
    The initial results came back negative, doctors said. Zelensky took his own test at a private clinic, after refusing Poroshenko's offer to take them together.