JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ The father of track star Zola Budd was found shot to death and was apparently murdered, police said today.

Frank Budd, 56, suffered two shotgun wounds to his left side Thursday evening at his farm near the central city of Bloemfontein, said Sgt. Marelize Visagie. She said a pickup truck and a shotgun were missing from the house.

Ms. Budd and her father did not communicate in recent years and he did not attend his daughter's April 15 wedding in Bloemfontein, saying he had not been invited.

Budd, a retired printer, was divorced from Ms. Budd's mother and lived alone.

According to various reports, Ms. Budd and her father argued frequently after she left South Africa for Britain in 1984 so she could compete internationally.

Ms. Budd was hurriedly granted a British passport that year so she could compete in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

South African athletes are barred from international competition because of the country's apartheid policies of racial segregation.

Ms. Budd set several distance running world records and twice won the world cross-country championships while living and training in Britain. But she was constantly dogged by anti-apartheid protesters who said she should not be allowed to compete because of her South African connections.

Ms. Budd returned to South Africa in May 1988 and her coach John Bryant said she was suffering from ''complete mental exhaustion.''

When Ms. Budd married South African businessman Mike Pieterse she indicated she would remain in her homeland indefinitely.

Ms. Budd, 23, recently won a 10-kilometer race in Bloemfontein, her first competition in South Africa since she went to Britain five years ago.