For the second year in a row, the annual Major League Eating contest at Coney Island, televised by ESPN, was marked by controversy–and once again it involved former champion Takeru Kobayashi, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The ESPN telecast July 4 showed Joey "Jaws" Chestnut claiming victory after eating 62 hotdogs in 10 minutes, but that record was surpassed by a separate event that took place at the same time and was not aired by ESPN. While Chestnut was downing his hotdogs, Kobayashi ate 69 hotdogs at another location.
Kobayashi won the Major League Eating event from 2001-2006, losing out to Chestnut starting in 2007 when Chestnut joined the competition, the story notes.
Kobayashi later had a contractual dispute with Major League Eating, as the group wanted him to sign an exclusive agreement while he wanted to remain a free agent. Last year Kobayashi attended the event and was arrested for trespassing when he rushed the stage, the piece notes.
Chestnut told ESPN he wasn’t concerned about what his rival did this year, the story says. "It wasn’t a competition," Chestnut said. "It was no different than what I do at practice on my own and I’m able to break a record at my house."