Associated Press Sports
updated 7/22/2008 2:53:38 PM ET 2008-07-22T18:53:38

Martha Karolyi declined to address Dominique Moceanu's criticisms of her, saying only that she was "sad'' the Olympic gold medalist chose to focus on the hard times in training rather than the success she had.

In an interview scheduled to air Tuesday night on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,'' Moceanu criticized Karolyi and her husband Bela for their strict training regimen and diet restrictions, and said Karolyi should be removed from her job as national team coordinator.

The Karolyis retired after Moceanu and her teammates won the gold medal in 1996, but Martha Karolyi has overseen the U.S. women's team since 2001.

"I feel sad that a gymnast so accomplished as Dominique, being part of the 1996 Olympic team and being the individual medalist in 1995 world championships ... can remember the harder days during the preparation,'' Karolyi said Tuesday during a conference call to discuss the U.S. team for the Beijing Olympics. "I feel sad.''

Karolyi acknowledged that it's not easy to become an elite athlete, let alone an Olympic champion. It's a long journey, and only the strongest athletes attain the highest levels of success, Karolyi said.

Most, though, would say it's worth it, Karolyi said.

"I think the majority of the girls certainly feel very proud they were able to train those many years and be dedicated and deal with the sacrifices,'' she said. "Just like in any other directions or any part of life, where in order to be successful, you really have to work hard.''

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