Sir Peter Snell says the Commonwealth Games are vital for many athletes, but he believes the inclusion of team sports make it expensive for poorer countries to take part.
Sir Peter believes smaller, more manageable games might be easier for developing countries to host.
But he does not see that as a fatal flaw, saying a chance for athletes from poorer countries to compete is still a fantastic opportunity for them.
Sir Peter triumphed at the 1962 Commonwealth Games as well as at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics in Rome and Tokyo.
Veteran sports commentator Keith Quinn thinks one of the problems is that the games are too big.
All but three of the 20 Empire and Commonwealth Games allocated so far, have been awarded to members of the old white Commonwealth.