The claim of discovery of the neutrinoless double beta (0ν2β) decay of 76Ge [Mod. Phys. Lett. A 16 (2001) 2409] is considered critically and firm conclusion about, at least, prematurity of such a claim is derived on the basis of a simple statistical analysis of the measured spectra. This result is also proved by analyzing the cumulative data sets of the Heidelberg-Moscow and IGEX experiments. Besides, it allows us to establish the highest worldwide half-life limit on the 0ν2β decay of 76Ge: T1/20ν⩾2.5 (4.2)×1025 yr at 90% (68%) C.L. This bound corresponds to the most stringent constraint on the Majorana neutrino mass: mν⩽0.3 (0.2) eV at 90% (68%) C.L.