Head of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov. GETTY IMAGES

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) will not boycott this year's Paris Olympics, its president has said. The move comes despite restrictions imposed on its athletes by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a result of the Kremlin's offensive in Ukraine.

"We will never take the path of boycotting (the Games). We will always support our athletes, but we stress that the conditions set by the IOC are illegitimate, unfair and unacceptable," said Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the former Olympic fencer who heads the ROC, in comments carried by Russian state news agency RIA.

The International Olympic Committee suspended Russia, and Belarus, from the Paris 2024 Games last December. The IOC will allow Russians and Belarusians who qualify in their sport for the Paris Games, which take place from 26 July to 11 August, to compete as neutrals, without their countries' flags, emblems or national anthems.

The Ukrainian Olympic Committee sent a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach in February, asking him to investigate the behaviour of Russian and Belarusian athletes ahead of the Paris 2024 Games, claiming they had failed to meet the conditions imposed and were "supporting aggression against Ukraine".

The IOC has yet to announce whether Russian and Belarusian athletes will be allowed to take part in the Opening Ceremony under the neutral flag. The IOC will decide at its next Executive Board meeting on 19 and 20 March in Lausanne. Specifically, the IOC will have to determine the conditions under which neutral athletes can take part in the opening ceremony of Paris 2024.  

According to AFP, the Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin ruled out expecting any flexibility from the IOC when its executive board meets next week. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said last week that Russian and Belarusian Paralympic athletes would not take part in the opening ceremony.