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