Originally Posted by Buttercup
Buttercup is correct. This has been discussed before, but here is an excerpt from the ISU announcement re WTT (emphasis added):
Originally Posted by mousepotato
"Any Skater/Couple from a Qualified ISU Member, who placed within the first ten (10) places at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2012 and is ranked in the ISU World Standings among the best 2 Lady Single Skaters, best 2 Men Single Skaters, the best Pair Skating couple and the best Ice Dance couple of his/her/their respective Qualified ISU Member, if this Skater/Couple elects in advance of the ISU World Team Trophy not to participate in the ISU World Team Trophy (for whatever reason), he/she/they will not be permitted to participate in any other competitions, shows, and exhibitions from Monday noon (April 2, 2012) after the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2012, during the ISU World Team Trophy, and until April 23, 2012.
In addition, depending on the circumstances, the concerned Skater/Couple and Members may be subject to sanctions in accordance with Rule 136, paragraph 6 of the General Regulations."
The ISU is the governing body of the sport, right? And the skaters have received prize money from ISU competitions throughout the season, right?
So makes sense to me that the ISU does have leverage over the skaters, and has the authority to impose rules on them.