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Doggonit! Joey Chestnut is Out at Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest

Chestnut said he was "gutted" to learn that he was not allowed to compete this year.
Joey Chestnut in Coney Island in 2010.

Joey Chestnut, a 16-time winner of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, won’t be competing this year after signing an exclusive deal with a rival brand.

A spokesperson with Major League Eating (MLE) told the Gothamist that the organization was “devastated” to lose the prolific competitive eater.

In a statement, MLE said that the organization and Nathan’s “went to great lengths in recent months to accommodate Joey and his management team” which included paying Chestnut an “appearance fee” and allowing him to compete in another hot dog eating contest on Labor Day.

MLE went on to say that “Joey and his managers have prioritized a new partnership with a different hot dog brand over our long-time relationship.”

Meanwhile, Chestnut on Instagram, said that he was "gutted" to find out from media reports that he was out of the annual July 4th contest. 

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