The WOA initiative was announced during the ongoing Athletes' Forum in Lausanne ©WOA

Any athlete found guilty of doping or any other action deemed to bring sport into "disrepute" will be barred from using the new "OLY" post-nominal unveiled by the World Olympians Association (WOA), it has been revealed.

The "post nominal letters initiative" was unveiled on Saturday (November 11) during the IInternational Athletes' Forum in Lausanne.

It is designed to work in a similar way to other designations, such as PhD for academics. 

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach - a team foil fencing champion at Montreal 1976 - became the first person to receive the honour.

Many others are also making applications through the WOA website here. 

A letter sent by WOA President Joël Bouzou explaining the new accolade ©WOA
A letter sent by WOA President Joël Bouzou explaining the new accolade ©WOA

"Any Olympian found guilty of doping, or any action that brings sport, their fellow athletes or the Olympic Movement into disrepute, will be prohibited from using the OLY post-nominal," a WOA spokesperson told insidethegames.

"The right to use OLY depends upon Olympians adhering to both the IOC Code of Ethics and the WOA OLY Code of Conduct, and anyone found to be in breach of those documents will be ineligible to use OLY.

"As the Certificate of Recognition which Olympians receive when they register to use OLY says: 'In recognition of your achievement as an Olympian you are granted use of the post-nominal letters OLY, to signify your ongoing role in society as an Olympian, living and promoting the Olympic values'.

"To receive the right to use OLY applicants must agree to the OLY Code of Conduct."

The "OLY" Code of Conduct requests athletes to agree to act in "the best interests of the Olympic Movement at all times", to abide by IOC Code of Ethics, to act with "honesty and integrity", to work to "spread the spirit of Olympism", to "represent Olympians and the Olympic Movement in a positive and supportive manner at all times".

They must also not misuse the OLY designation or the email in any way that could bring disrepute to themselves, fellow Olympians, the IOC, the WOA or an equivalent national body, or "commit or be responsible for and/or party to any form of discrimination including, without limitation, on the basis of race, sex, ethnic origin, religion, philosophical or political opinion or other grounds".

It is hoped that the award will act as a professional qualification, showing off the "highly transferable skills of being an Olympian and competing at the highest level", while also acting as a link to other Olympians and a symbol of their "dedication, concentration and commitment to sport and success".

Those to have already posted messages on social media confirmed they have requested the lettering include British gymnast Craig Heap, a two-time Commonwealth Games champion who competed at Sydney 2000.