Athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic games are likely to get their own honours list this year, to ensure there is no cap on the number of accolades available for the stars of London 2012.
The move was prompted by concern within Whitehall that many victorious Olympians and Paralympians could miss out on receiving honours, as current rules place a limit on the number of honours awarded to sportspeople each year.
Team GB won 29 gold medals at the London 2102 Games, with distance runner Mo Farah winning double gold and sailor Ben Ainslie claiming his fourth gold medal in consecutive games.
Honours adjudicators will also have to consider stars such as Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins, all of whom won gold at London 2012 and are firm favourites with the British public.
At the Paralympics Britain has won more than 100 medals, including more than 30 golds. Among the high-profile winners are Sarah Storey, who now has a total of 11 Olympic golds, and Ellie Simmonds, who has won two swimming golds to add to the two she won in the 2008 Beijing Games.
Under current Whitehall rules, only one knighthood can be awarded for sporting honours a year along with four CBEs, 68 OBEs and 134 MBEs.
A senior No10 source told the Sun: "The problem of how to recognise as many of them as possible was one we identified almost immediately. An honours list of their own is how to solve it."