Best of Times, Wurst of Times: Cheating Scandal Rocks Nathan’s Competitive Hot Dog Eating Contest

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Let me be frank; cheating is cheating, no matter what the event. Now, we learn that a cheating scandal has slammed the world of competitive hot dog eating. The New York Post's Aneeta Bhole and Chris Nesi have broken the scandal wide open in an exclusive story, and it's a stunner.

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A competitive eater in Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating competition has crumbled under the weight of a cheating scandal and requested his score be revised to remove the controversial weiners, the Post can reveal exclusively.

Nick Wehry, husband of women’s division champion and pink mustard belt holder Miki Sudo, was accused of using sleight of hand trickery to beef up his tally at the July 4th competition and place himself among the sport’s most elite competitors.

“I am distressed over the accusations of cheating that have surfaced and I reiterate that I did not cheat in this event,” Wehry said, acknowledging the controversy but denying wrongdoing.

“However, because I did touch another eater’s plates and because this gives the appearance or possibility of impropriety I have asked Major League Eating to adjust my score down to a count of 46.75 hot dogs and buns. I’m truly sorry for raising any questions over the results of the event.”

On competition day at Coney Island, Wehry devoured a respectable 46.75 dogs in the 10-minutes allotted. But his official score was later increased to 51.75 on the official Major League Eating website standings.

At least he admitted his shortcomings; in a weiner take all competition like this, cheating should not and can not be tolerated. Now, the winners can relish their victory, free of any taint of scandal.

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It would appear that Wehry's cheating didn't affect the standings, but could have unfairly propelled him into a higher tier in the cutthroat world of competitive hotdoggery.

A source closely involved with the competition told The Post that eating 50 hot dogs is seen as a high water mark separating everyday contenders from the top-tier eaters. Although the allegedly inflated score did not improve Wehry’s standings, it bumped up his official score from 46.75 to 51.75, placing him among the sport’s crème de la crème.

The sources claim Wehry shifted empty plates around on the competition table after time was up in order to place more on his stack. Judges count five hot dogs per plate when conducting their official tally, so the addition of a single extra plate would be enough to bump up his score into the elite tier.

One could be forgiven for thinking there mustard have been some misunderstanding, but until the competitors meat again, it will be difficult to know how Wehry's co-eaters will take his cheating - and his admission.

It's amazing, how competition can bring out the best and the wurst in people. The urge to win no matter what it takes can cause people to make serious missteps, as we have seen here - but it can also drive people to excel, to push past their personal limits, to make it onto the honor roll. We can hope that Mr. Wehry has taken his mistake to heart, has learned from it, and will show more integrity in future contests of dog-downing.

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And we can be pretty certain that Mr. Wehry's wife, Miki Sudo, the winner of Nathan's Famous women's dog-eating contest, is giving him an earful over the whole thing.

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