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Joey Chestnut banned from Nathan’s hot dog eating contest

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An annual summer tradition has lost its top dog, so to speak.

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And not just any top dog, but the GOAT when it comes to competitive hot-dog eating.

Joey Chestnut, the undisputed greatest competitive eater of all time, is out of this year’s annual July 4 Nathan’s hot dog eating competition.

According to a report by the New York Post, Chestnut’s recent deal to represent a different wiener brand has gotten him banished for the summer staple.

Chestnut has signed on with Impossible Foods, which recently launched a vegan frankfurter made from plants.

The California-born chowmeister has won the event 16 times over the past 17 years, with a second-place finish in 2015 interrupting his dominance.

He set a world record in 2021 when he scarfed down an astounding 76 hot dogs with buns during the 10-minute event.

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A rep for Major League Eating told the Post that MLE has “bent over backwards” to meet Chestnut’s various other demands, including allowing him to compete in a rival dog-eating fest which will be taped by Netflix, on the condition that no hot dog brand was mentioned.

But the line was drawn when Chestnut asked for permission to represent a different dog in the Nathan’s contest.

MLE, which Nathan’s sanctions to run the event, issued a statement expressing its disappointment in the situation.

“We are devastated to learn that Joey Chestnut has chosen to represent a rival brand that sells plant-based hot dogs rather than competing in the 2024 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest,” it read.

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“MLE and Nathan’s went to great lengths to accommodate Joey and his management team, agreeing to the appearance fee and allowing Joey to compete in a rival, unbranded hot dog eating contest on Labor Day.

“For nearly two decades we have worked under the same basic hot dog exclusivity provisions. However, it seems that Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different brand over our long-time relationship.

“Joey Chestnut is an American hero. We would love nothing more than to have him at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. We hope he returns when he is not representing a rival brand.”

The Post reports that neither Chestnut nor his agents have commented on the split.

Fans on social media are devastated by the news.

“There has to be more to this story. I can’t live with no Joey Chestnut on 4th of July. I’m distraught,” posted Big Cat from Barstool Sports.

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Another user posted a video of former WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin breaking down a fence on a zamboni to enter an arena with the caption: “Joey Chestnut showing up to the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest this year.”

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While the two sides could settle this beef in the weeks between now and the contest, we’re likely to see a new king of the dogs crowned in Coney Island this year.

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