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Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contestant Denies Lifting Plate from Opponent’s Pile: ‘I Would Never Cheat’

Nathan Hot Dog Eating Contestant Accused of Cheating
Nick Wehry Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Competitive eater Nick Wehry claims he’s being frank when he denied cheating during the 2024 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

A pair of sources told the New York Post otherwise, according to a story published Tuesday, July 9.

Those sources claimed that Wehry, who finished fourth in the contest, only ate 46.75 hot dogs, not the 51.75 that his final count indicated.

“100 percent he cheated,” one of the sources alleged to the Post.

The outlet cited “footage and reports” indicating Wehry may have lifted an empty plate from one of his opponents, making it appear that he ate five more hot dogs than he actually did. Judges make their determination based on the empty plates in front of a competitor, and the plates hold five dogs each.

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Wehry sent a denial to the Post via text message, writing, “If [Major League Eating] determines I was miscounted then fix my number. My placing did not change if this was the case. I would never want to take a placing or number I didn’t earn. I would never cheat at a contest, regardless of why. People that know me know that.”

“I guess the video looks like I was mis-plated,” Wehry conceded. “Genuinely sorry if it was the case.”

While the difference is only five hot dogs and, as Wehry noted, it wouldn’t change his placement, the discrepancy is a tough one for competitive eaters to swallow.

Nathan Hot Dog Eating Contestant Accused of Cheating
John Lamparski/Getty Images

“There’s a number of people who have eaten 40 hot dogs in this competition before, there’s a lot fewer who have eaten more than 50, and even fewer who have eaten over 60,” a second source said. “For someone to have on the record that they ate more than 50, makes you part of a very small elite club of competitive eaters.”

Patrick Bertoletti won this year’s men’s division with 58 hot dogs downed in 10 minutes. Wehry’s wife, Miki Sudo, won the women’s division with 51 hot dogs for her 10th all-time win.

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Together, Wehry and Sudo make up the “Hungry Couple.” Sudo provided a brief statement to the Post before “abruptly” hanging up the phone.

“I was watching Nick the entire time, there is a camera on him the entire time, there’s no way the judges got it wrong,” she said.

MLE says it conducted its own investigation into the matter and would not overturn the judges’ decision.

“MLE investigated, carefully considering the complaint and reviewing video provided to us. Like many other professional sports leagues, it is our policy to not overturn judges’ decisions after the final results have been recorded,” the organization said in a statement.

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