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Takeru Kobayashi could be cleared

8/5/2010
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NEW YORK -- Japanese eating champion Takeru Kobayashi is out of hot water over his arrest during a Fourth of July frank fracas.

The six-time champion appeared Thursday in a New York City court. The judge says the case will be purged from his record if he stays out of trouble for six months.

A contract dispute had kept Kobayashi out of the annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. He showed up anyway.

Kobayashi says he leaped onstage in the heat of a fan frenzy. His lawyer says officials waved him onstage.

He had pleaded not guilty to obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, of San Jose, Calif., won by gobbling 54 hot dogs in 10 minutes.