The Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Lawn Tennis Association and British Cycling have been told to become more diverse and transparent or risk losing funding.
They are among a number of bodies which receive grants from UK Sport and Sport England and which will be subject to stricter assessments of their governance standards from next year.
UK Sport and Sport England says it is targeting 30 per cent gender diversity on boards as well as greater transparency of organisations’ structures and finances.
The new Code for Sports Governance will apply to any governing body applying for lottery funding from April 2017, with those asking for most money expected to meet the highest standards.
“It is vital that our domestic sports bodies and organisations uphold the very highest standards of governance and lead the world in this area,” said Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.
“We want to ensure that they operate efficiently and successfully while being transparent and representative of society.”
Sport England chair Nick Bitel said: “There have been significant improvements in standards of governance, which is to be welcomed, but there is still much to do. Diversity in sports sector boardrooms is still an issue and requires a mandatory code to achieve sustainable change.”
The FA, ECB and LTA all said they welcomed the targets.
Sport England and UK Sport are responsible for channelling around £850m of government and lottery funding to governing bodies, local authorities, clubs and charities between 2013 and 2017.