Joe Biden isn't wearing an electronic earpiece to cheat in the first US election TV debate.

A bizarre, unfounded conspiracy theory began to spread earlier today through social media, claiming the former Vice President planned to use an in-ear transmitter to have answers fed to him during tonight's 90 minute TV debate.

It's unclear where the claim originated, but it appeared to be pushed out by co-ordinated Facebook accounts in the US.

Memes insisting Biden have his ears checked before the debate spread this morning - saying: "Joe Biden should be inspected for a hidden ear piece as well as submit to a drug test before the debate. Share if you agree!"

The theory was picked up by Fox News, and before too long by the Trump campaign themselves.

When Team Trump arrived at the debate site in Cleveland, Ohio to decide the ground rules for tonight's clash, they demanded both candidates submit to an independent body search for electronic devices.

Team Biden declined - also denying, as Trump’s team claimed, that they had asked for “multiple breaks” during the event.

Kate Bedingfield, a Biden deputy campaign manager said Team Trump “seems concerned that he will not do well tonight, and they’re already laying the groundwork for how they’re going to lie about why.” 

She added: “It is completely absurd. Of course he is not wearing an earpiece, and we never asked for breaks.”

The President has repeatedly - without evidence - claimed Mr Biden has relied on "performance enhancing drugs" in previous debates against fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders.

The bizarre line of attack came to a head today, 24 hours before the first Presidential debate of the 2020 US election in Cleveland, Ohio.

The President challenged Biden to a take a drug test ahead of the showdown, saying he would do the same.

I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night. Naturally, I will agree to take one also,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???”

In response, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager treated the President's challenge with every bit of the seriousness it deserved.

“Vice President Biden intends to deliver his debate answers in words. If the president thinks his best case is made in urine he can have at it,” she said.

“We’d expect nothing less from Donald Trump, who pissed away the chance to protect the lives of 200K Americans when he didn't make a plan to stop COVID-19.”

We can't be sure, but we think this might be the first time the word "urine" has been used in an official statement from a major presidential campaign.

Of course, Biden wouldn't be the first person to be baselessly accused of wearing a wire in a TV debate.

Boris Johnson gets it a lot, because he has a weird flap of skin in one of his ears.

And in the US Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, and George W Bush have all been accused of wearing a wire during debates over the years.

The first debate will take place tonight in Cleveland, Ohio.

The debate will be broadcast live on all major news channels from 2am UK time, including BBC News and Sky News, and on CNN which is available on Sky TV in the UK.