"We believe there's no question about it from the standpoint of when you look at the facts," Goodell said in the interview. "It's a collectively bargained program. We have an independent administrator. We believe that we're certainly within our rights. It's fair and it's consistent within that policy. The players understand (they) are held accountable for anything that's in (their) body."
Goodell went on to say that the players were fully aware, despite the StarCaps label not listing any banned substances, that such products are not regulated and that, in the end, whatever supplements a player takes he takes at his own risk.
"The core issue of our policy is very clear to every player that you are responsible for what's in your body," Goodell said. "We have been very clear. If you take supplements, which is an unregulated industry, there's a danger that there are things in a supplement that aren't on the label that are against our policy, so you're taking a risk."
The Williamses case remains in federal court in St. Paul with a temporary restraining order. If the judge sides with the NFL this week, both of the Williamses will be suspended for four games effective immediately – the final three games of the 2008 regular season and, if the Vikings win the NFC North, the first round of the playoffs. The process could drag on longer than that.
Safety Darren Sharper, the Vikings' player rep for the NFL Players Association, took a divergent opinion from Goodell on Monday.
"You're not supposed to assume, but I'm assuming we're going to have them each and every week unless I hear something differently. So that's the attitude everyone in the locker room has, that we're going to have them for each game until we're told differently," Sharper said of the Williamses' case.
"I just haven't heard anything differently, so I'm thinking that we're going to have them. It just could be positive thinking, but I've thought that from the first time I heard about it. I just thought that they're going to be out there playing with us. Just the attitude I think everyone in the locker room has about that situation."