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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) are investigating the case of marathon runner Guor Marial, who has been suspended after refusing to share a grant he was awarded to help him prepare for Rio 2016.

The South Sudan Athletics Federation have revoked the membership of 30-year-old Marial, potentially stopping him competing in Brazil, in a row over funding he has received from Olympic Solidarity.

Marial was awarded the IOC scholarship to help him prepare for the Rio Olympics but the South Sudan Athletics Federation demanded he hand it over in accordance with its policy of putting athletes together for training and to compete under one umbrella and administration, rather than operating in separate entities.

The marathon runner, who finished 47th at London 2012 when he competed as an independent athlete under the Olympic flag, insisted that because the scholarship was awarded solely to him and not to the Federation nor other athletes, he has no obligation to hand it over.

"I have just received note from the secretary general of the South Sudan Athletics Federation that I have been suspended from any South Sudan federation activities, simply because they want me to hand over to them the scholarship, which the International Olympic Committee is about to give me for my Olympic preparation," Marial wrote on Facebook.

"To me, this is really a huge crime and against the IOC's scholarship polices.

"Its great shame to the people of South Sudan and the country as a whole."

The IOC has since told insidethegames that they "are aware of this issue and currently in discussion with the concerned parties in order to understand what exactly the problem is and what actions need to be taken - if any - to reach a solution that works for all."

The situation is further complicated by the fact that the South Sudan Athletics Federation is recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations but it still does not have a National Olympic Committee that fulfills the requirements of the IOC, meaning they are not eligible to compete in the Olympics.

South Sudan is the world's newest country having only gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 following a bitter civil war in which Marial lost 28 relatives, including eight brothers and sisters.

Marial, who fled to the United States in 1994 and has not seen his parents for more than 20 years, was offered the opportunity to compete for Sudan at London 2012 due to South Sudan not being recognised by the IOC.

He refused the offer, however, stating, "If I ran for Sudan, I would be betraying my people.

"I would be dishonouring the two million people who died for our freedom.

"I want to bring honour to my country.

"People who just want glory, the spotlight of the Olympics, they don't care about other people.

"I'm fighting for independent status because I do care.

"When I run, I want people to see me and say, 'He is from South Sudan'."

Instead, the IOC offered him the opportunity to compete as an independent athlete under the Olympic flag.

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