Come To Think of It: 68 Hotdogs? Steroid Allegations "Dog" Joey Chestnut

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IJuly 4, 2009

It sounds like a conspiracy to me, but for the third year in a row an American won the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn, NY.

Yes, it's America's birthday, so it figures an American should win the annual competitive eating contest.

What is more American than eating?

Let's face it, we're a nation of obese people. Americans do love their hotdogs.

But 68 of them in 10 minutes? Dipped in water? The thought of that makes my stomach turn.

American Joey Chestnut defeated Japanese rival, and six-time titleholder, Takeru Kobayashi, 68 to 64.5 on Saturday; claiming the title for the third consecutive year.

Rumor has it, officials at the event suspect that Chestnut may be guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.

The "mustard belt" is a lucrative title, and the competition is even broadcast on ESPN.

Chestnut set a new world record by consuming the 68 dogs, prompting speculation that he was assisted by steroids.

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"I categorically deny ever knowingly taking performance enhancers," Chestnut said. "I mean, I trained my butt off for this event."

Chestnut tried to explain what the shot was that he was seen taking prior to the competition: "What I took was a B-12 [vitamin] that was given to me by a teammate. That's it. That was it."

"Whatever I took was tainted; had to have been. There's no other reason, unless I got set up."

"I made a mistake," Chestnut told ESPN's Pedro Gomez on Friday. "I didn't really understand what I was taking and I paid for it. I paid for it very dearly. Life goes on."

The shot was administered in his "buns," apparently.

As American as it is to eat, it is equally American to cheat, come to think of it.