UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft said he was sad to see Dame Kelly Holmes retire from the sport.
"It is a real shame that Kelly has decided she will be unable to defend her 1500m title at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne," he said.
"Kelly has had a very long and successful career in athletics.
"We will always remember those marvellous moments in Athens when she went from a great athlete to true legend by winning the 800m and 1500m."
Holmes has cited the death of a man she had met in Ireland as well as a lack of motivation for her decision to retire.
UK Athletics director of athlete development Zara Hyde Peters, who worked with Holmes during the preparations for the Athens Games, says Holmes' achievements will inspire future generations.
"Retirement is a tough decision for any athlete and I know Kelly has hesitated to end her golden career," Peters said.
"But she will continue to be an athletics inspiration to many.
"On a personal note, it has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with such a fantastically talented and dedicated athlete. She is unique."
Holmes has been invited to become a senior ambassador for the International Association of Athletics Federations and president for the world governing body, Lamine Diack, was quick to praise the British hero.
"I think Kelly is one of the legends of our sport now," said Diack.
"What impressed the most about her was that she suffered so many years of disappointment and injury, and then, with her very last Olympic Games, came out and won two gold medals.
"Her courage and determination never to quit exemplify what I believe is the
spirit of athletics.
"I really hope Kelly will be one of the IAAF's ambassadors. She has all the qualities we look for in terms of a role model for the next generation of athletes."