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Major League Eating (MLE) has announced that Joey Chestnut, a 16-time winner of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, will be banned from this year’s event. The decision comes as a surprise since Chestnut has dominated the competition by winning 16 out of the last 17 contests and setting a record by eating 76 hot dogs and buns in 2021.

The ban stemmed from Chestnut’s new partnership with a rival vegan food brand, which MLE cited as the reason for his exclusion from the event. However, MLE did mention that Chestnut could still compete if he ends his partnership with the plant-based food company.

In a statement, MLE expressed disappointment over Chestnut’s decision to represent a competing brand, stating that they had made accommodations for him in the past to participate in other events. They emphasized Chestnut’s status as an American hero and expressed their desire for him to return to the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in the future.

Not having Chestnut at the competition would be a significant change, as he has been the dominant force in the event for years. The last time someone other than Chestnut won was in 2015 when Matt Stonie claimed first place. Without Chestnut,

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