An Olympic diploma is a paper certificate awarded to the top eight finishers in competitions at the Olympic Games. While the top three finishers have received medals since the 1896 Olympics, in 1949 diplomas for athletes placing fourth, fifth, and sixth were established, and in 1981 diplomas for seventh- and eighth-place finishers were added.
The diploma is inscribed and signed by autopen with the signatures of the president of the International Olympic Committee and the head of the organizing committee for each Olympics. The design of the diploma, as with the design of the Olympic medals, must be approved by the IOC.
An athlete who receives a diploma and is subsequently sanctioned for violations of the IOC Code of Ethics, the World Anti-Doping Code, or other charters must return the diploma to the IOC.