Coney Island’s war of wieners escalated as organizers of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest debunked Joey Chestnut’s claim that they were “changing the rules” — after the rules cost the perennial champ his spot at next month’s barf bash.

Chestnut groaned that he was “gutted” by Major League Eating’s decision to keep him from defending his title because he agreed to become a pitchman for Impossible Foods’ vegan hot dogs, as The Post exclusively reported.

However, the company that manages the annual event for Nathan’s said Chestnut has no one to blame but himself.

“In return for his fees to appear and compete, Joey agreed every single year to a very simple exclusivity provision — that he would not endorse or sponsor another hot dog brand,” an MLE rep told The Post on Wednesday.

“The idea that Nathan’s or MLE changed the rules this year is as ridiculous as it is silly. What company would pay someone an appearance fee of several hundred thousand dollars and knowingly let
them endorse a direct competitor immediately afterwards?”

The rep went on to say: “Joey was not banned. Joey chose not to compete in the contest the moment he chose to make an endorsement deal with one of Nathan’s competitors.”

Chestnut, 40, has an estimated net worth of $4 million. He won the July 4 event in 16 of the past 17 years, wolfing down 62 hot dogs and buns in 2023.

MLE head George Shea called Chestnut’s hookup with Impossible Foods a “catastrophe” during an interview on 560 WQAM Wednesday morning.

“His reps came to us and said we have signed with a plant-based meat company that does hot dogs and that’s that,” Shea said.

“He didn’t come to us and say we have this other offer and let’s talk. It was, ‘This offer is signed,’ so it made it very difficult to negotiate.”

Despite the impasse, sources said a settlement by July 4 wasn’t out of the question, but the next move was up to Chestnut.

Chestnut did not return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, CamSoda, an adult entertainment site, offered Chestnut “up to $1 million to headline the platform’s very first annual ‘Weiner Wallop’ online hot dog eating contest this July 4th.”

There have also been 15 “Let Joey Eat” petitions that have popped up on

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.