A government official said Monday that South Korea "plans to start consultations with North Korea as soon as possible on an array of pending issues related to the North's participation in the upcoming Asian Games," according to YONHAP. North Korea "will send a 273-member delegation, including 150 athletes, to the Asian Games" to be held in Incheon. Seoul unification ministry spokesperson Lim Byeong-cheol said, "I believe that the two Koreas are likely to discuss the issues as soon as possible. But it is impossible to exchange letters today, which is the North's national holiday." Inter-Korean dialogue on the sports event "has been stalled since July 17 when the North Korean delegation walked out of negotiations in apparent displeasure over Seoul's refusal to cover the cost of sending a team to the event." Touching on media speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may visit Russia, Lim said that "there has been nothing confirmed about whether it is true or not" (KOREA TIMES, 8/25).
The Australian Olympic Committee "will make the country's top athletes sign pledges that they have never worked with coaches or support staff that have engaged in doping-related activity." The AOC said that "it was moving early to bring national sports federations up to code," and would work with Australia's peak anti-doping agency to send letters to 1,200 "shadow" athletes for the 2016 Rio Games (REUTERS, 8/25). ... Russian North Pacific island Sakhalin "could become the training base for Russian skiers preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics" in PyeongChang, South Korea. Three-time Olympic champion and Russian Cross-Country Ski Association President Yelena Valbe said, "I assume that we will lead the preparation of athletes here, on Sakhalin. From here, we will leave for the Olympics. Our time zone is close to that in South Korea. The climate is suitable as well. Thus, everything stands in favor for Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk" (RIA NOVOSTI, 8/21). ... The ice bucket challenge "has reached the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Village." Athletes, ambassadors and even NanjingLELE, the official mascot of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, "have taken up the challenge." Artistic gymnast Sydney Townsend and diver Molly Carlson, both from Canada, "posted videos on Instagram that show them getting drenched in iced water at the Youth Olympic Village" (XINHUA, 8/25).