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Joey Chestnut breaks silence after learning he cannot compete in 2024 hot dog eating contest

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Major League Eating announced on Tuesday that Joey Chestnut is unable to participate in the 2024 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest after he partnered with a rival brand.

Chestnut recently signed a deal with Impossible Foods, a rival of Nathan’s that has launched a vegan wiener.

Thus, Major League Eating ruled that as long as the 16-time winner of the contest has a deal with Impossible Foods, he will not be allowed to compete at the July 4 spectacle.

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Joey Chestnut at the weigh-in

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut attends a weigh-in ceremony before the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest, Monday, July 3, 2023, in New York.  (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Chestnut said on X, formerly Twitter, that he learned he was “banned” from the event through social media.

“I was gutted to learn from the media that after 19 years Im [sic] banned from the Nathan’s July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest,” Chestnut wrote. “I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I have been training to defend my title.

“To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with. This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th event.

Joey Chestnut

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut competes in the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut won the men’s division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.   (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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“Sadly, this is the decision Nathan’s and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment. To my fans, I love you and appreciate you. Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!! STAY HUNGRY!”

Although Chestnut is best known for his performance with the wieners, his website says that he travels “200 days” out of the year competing. Thus, he has numerous other records.

Just a few of those include his 32 Bic Macs in 38 minutes, 44 Raising Cane’s chicken fingers in five minutes and 61.5 four-ounce pork roll sandwiches in 10 minutes.

Chestnut famously took down a protester at the 2022 event via chokehold, which didn’t phase him one bit. He still downed 63 dogs and buns.

Joey Chestnut and hot dogs

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut holds a plate of hotdogs representing his world record for eating 76 hotdogs and buns in ten minutes during a weigh-in ceremony before the Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest, Monday, July 3, 2023, in New York.  (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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The 40-year-old, widely regarded as the GOAT in his sport, has won the contest every year but one since 2007. He was upset by Matt Stonie in the 2015 competition but has since rattled off eight straight victories in the contest.

Chestnut’s 76 dogs and buns in the 2021 contest remain a world record. He ate 62 last year, enough to defend his title (in just 10 minutes).

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